16:24 27 February 2017
A recent study has found that the stress levels of children who spend more than eight hours in crèches are up to three times higher compared to those who stay at home. The findings suggest that this is because they miss their parents and have upsetting conflicts with other children.
Higher stress levels at such a young age have been found to affect brain development, making children more shy and with less self-control.
Researchers said that such effects could be reversed by working patients by spending quality time with their children after they pick them up.
Lead author Professor Mary Britt Drugli said: 'Young children who are not very competent socially and don't have good language skills suffer stress in childcare.
'They miss their parents, being separated from them, and it is hard for them in day care, as it would be with a babysitter.
'We don't know if the stress they suffer is harmful, but parents can mitigate it by spending time with their children during afternoons and weekends.
'They should make meals together, sit together and read books, so the child gets the contact they have missed while in childcare.'