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Family choice for child care: early childhood development and family needs

Abstract

The sequences of events following the arrival of a newborn baby are among the topics that mostly deserve the researcher's attention. On one hand, this is one of the periods of greatest brain plasticity and body development. Children correctly stimulated have their developmental potential achieved, which involves important dimensions of human traits and abilities, such as reasoning, emotions, motor skills and sociability. Gaps that appear at this age, on the other hand, will be mitigated only at high costs, and may cause permanent sequels. On the family side, routines are also deeply affected: mothers reconsider their labor market decisions, consumption habits are changed, the use of time is reviewed, and the sleep marital relations are also disturbed. Throughout a longitudinal tracking of pregnant women living in Ribeirão Preto (SP), this research will map how families plan the type of care that will be delivered to the babies; how this plan changes after birth, and how suited to the toddlers and family needs are the care services that the families can access, both in terms of quantity and quality. These conclusions contribute to the broader discussion about the expansion of daycare and other early child services, by allowing policymakers to learn about the quantity and quality demanded by families. (AU)

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