The Sydney Morning Herald conducted a long investigation into childcare, which led to a number of articles about the state of childcare in NSW a couple of weeks ago. They were not the type of articles that would bring comfort to a mother who is sending her child to childcare.
The articles were about the woeful health and safety standards, lack of qualified staff, and other problem areas in many children’s services. Would these issues have a special effect on gifted children over and above the effect on every child? I think they would, as gifted children thrive on one-on-one stimulating conversations with adults, insist on deep and meaningful relationships with adults, are inquisitive, and require challenges and stimulation. We now know that the best outcomes for children in care occur in high quality services. However, poor quality care can have detrimental effects, such as emotional and behaviour problems, and of course lack of appropriate programming, according to research. High quality care requires qualified early childhood teachers (with Bachelor degrees in early childhood), high staff to child ratios (less children and more staff), consistency of staff members, and good program provision, whereas in poor quality services staff turnover is high, programs are poor, and early childhood teachers are as rare as hens’ teeth. The articles in the SMH were therefore disconcerting. You can find the articles at the following links: