All working parents who have sent their child to daycare wonder about the infections that seem to swarm around the daycare center. There is a new study out, published by Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine that dispels many myths.
Snot. Drool. Lots of dirty diapers. These negative visions (and smells) come to mind when thinking about large daycare centers. But this recent study shows that children who attended a large day-care program before age 2 1/2 had higher rates of respiratory and ear infections around enrollment time compared to small daycare programs. Day care was not associated with gastrointestinal infections at any developmental period.
These children who attended large daycare centers had fewer respiratory and ear infections once in elementary schools. From birth to age 8, there was no difference in overall number of infections between children who attended home care and those who attended day care of any size before elementary school.
It seems like (from an infectious standpoint) home-cared versus large daycare center is “a wash.”
Hope this helps.