Child Dev. 2022 Nov 8. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13858. Online ahead of print.
The current study examined whether within-family changes in child care quality and quantity predicted subsequent changes in home environment quality and maternal depression across early childhood (6 to 54 months of age). Data were drawn from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (n = 1239; 77% White; 48% female; data collection from 1991 to 1996), and were analyzed using Random Intercept Cross-Lagged Panel Models. Within-family increases in child care quality predicted modest increases in home environment quality (β = .13-.17). These effects were most robust from child age 6 to 15 months. Increases in child care quality produced small, statistically non-significant, reductions in depression. Time-specific increases in child care quantity were not consistently predictive of either outcome.