Child Care: formal or informal, impact on children’s behavioral or academic difficulties, global (2006)


While researching the childcare realities of global working families, Heymann found that “when families used formal childcare, their children were less likely to develop behavioral or academic difficulties than when they used informal childcare. Parents with preschool children who used unpaid children to provide informal care were significantly more likely to have children with behavioral or academic difficulties (39 percent versus 22 percent)” (Heymann, 2006, p. 43).


Heymann, J. (2006). Forgotten families: Ending the growing crisis confronting children and working parents in the global economy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


Forgotten Families reports on global studies that were conducted over the course of a decade. It includes survey data from 55,000 households in seven countries and five regions, in-depth interviews of 1,000 families in six countries and five regions, and examinations of public policies in over 170 countries. While research has been conducted previously in North America, Europe and comparatively across the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), this is the first study of its kind on a global scale.