Section 3, Article 5 - Without a doubt, the physical, cognitive, social and spiritual developmental from infancy to two years of age are momentous. In light of this fact, there is much debate about whether or not women should be employed outside of the home during this stage of their child’s life. In 2012, the percentage of stay-at-home mothers rose to 29% from the historic low of 23% in 1999 (). While there is research both for and against maternal employment, one must also consider the family’s situation when weighing the costs and benefits of the mother returning to work. In lower income families, maternal employment has been correlated with an improvement in the child’s performance in cognitive functioning, behavior, and kindergarten readiness (). However, maternal employment has also been shown to negatively affect the child’s health (; ). While there is likely no universal answer as to whether maternal employment positively or negatively affects young children, it is safe to say that it depends on the situation. Regardless of employment decisions, meeting the child’s physical, cognitive, social, and emotional needs must remain a priority.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau (), 12.5 million preschoolers are in some type of childcare arrangement, the top four of which are relatives, organized facilities, parents, and other non-relatives. The best predictor of quality care for children is positive caregiving that is interactive, sensitive, and encouraging (). However, the according to the evaluation scale used for this study, the majority of sites involved were found only to be “fair” and less than 10% provided high quality childcare. Nonetheless, researchers still found that the main predictor of positive development was the impact of the family. When making decisions about childcare, it is important for parents to remember that each child entrusted to them represents a sacred responsibility that is unto the Lord. When choices for childcare are made, parents’ must put their child’s best interests as it glorifies God as their top priority.