I have been doing some research on child care centres. My child goes to a preschool child care centre 1 day a week. I have had trouble since he was 12 month with fluid in his ears and has now put his speech behind. I have been concerned about how often he gets sick from these centres which only makes his hearing and speech worse.

I found some interesting stuff I though I could share.

Anne Reade: The initial results are showing that there appears to be more respiratory illness in the long daycare children, in comparison with the family daycare. We did do a small pilot study in children aged under 2-years only, where we were able to include a group of children who had no childcare, and it was quite clear that children in care, whatever type of care, had much more illness, significantly more illness, than children who weren't in childcare at all. But in this particular major study we're conducting, we are looking at the difference in long daycare centres and family daycare. And initial, unadjusted results are pointing to the fact that there is more respiratory illness in long daycare children than in family daycare children.

This is another site about childcare centres and Hep A. http://www.whs.qld.gov.au/guide/gde64.pdf

The private childcare sector may argue that making a profit does not interfere with providing adequate care. But, with a company model that anticipates an average profit of $100,000 per centre per year, families should question whether adequate care is all that they want? Parents don’t skimp on the quality of a child’s schooling. They pay big bucks for a perceived better education at private schools. The same cannot be said for private childcare. Higher costs don’t translate into better quality in an infant industry that is struggling to simply provide access for all.
A philosophy that says we can make money by caring for children does not fit the analysis of early childhood professionals. They say the first six years of life is the most crucial. It is in this time frame we can give children the best start and provide a foundation for the rest of their lives. The evidence is clear. Supporting the development of the first year of a child’s life is far more crucial than what school they attend in terms of their social, mental and physical development. The best people to do this childhood development work are parents. Unqualified childcare workers have a limited understanding of child development and while they might be “great with kids”, they are in essence baby sitters.
Private childcare centres need unqualified staff. Unqualified staff are cheaper to employ, they keep wage costs down and provide profit to shareholders. Private childcare centres will rarely employ more than the quota of qualified staff required by legislation. They will employ the minimum number of staff so that they just meet child/staff ratios. Ratios that are legislated, but are still concerning.
But, the quality of care we would give to our children, or our parents, can never be matched by paying someone else to do it. Consequently, we need to pull our heads out of the sand, hear that private childcare is limited in its ability to support the development of our children and make informed decisions about our children’s early years. Especially when the federal government’s National Agenda for Early Childhood so clearly drills home the importance of young children’s development. We need to use this knowledge to make a decision about what childcare service we will use, or if we want to use one at all.

Not surprisingly, children in childcare have an increased risk of infectious diseases,10 but the psychological effects are of most concern, as the foundations of the human mind and emotional development are laid in these early years.11 An enduring aspect of the child's world is the parent-child relationship, and one central feature of this relationship is the infant-mother attachment. As mammals, secure attachments between infants and their mothers (and/or effective surrogate mothers) have been vital for our species' survival.7,8,12 Research shows that the security or insecurity of this attachment provides the foundation upon which subsequent relations with adults and peers are built.12 According to Rutter, moderate but significant associations have been found between insecure attachment and various forms of psychopathology both in childhood and adult life.13

Being with mother is likely to be best
This childcare agenda, in disregarding the child's age, is contrary to much expert professional opinion that, ideally, it is likely to be best for very young children to be mostly with their mothers. Of 904 professional members of the World Association for Infant Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines from 56 countries, 402 responded anonymously to a survey asking what kinds of care, at various ages up to 36 months, they considered likely, ideally, to be best from the infants' viewpoint.19 A majority of the respondents believed that it is "very important" for infants "to have their mothers available to them through most of each 24 hours" for more than one year, and to be cared for "principally by mother" until over two years. Only 11% selected full-day group care as the best option for children aged up to 30 months. The author concluded: "The findings show that the polled professionals consider that the development and well-being of children under 3 would be served best by patterns of care that are diametrically opposed to those politicians promise, policy-makers aspire to provide and parents strive to find".19

Many mothers want to care for their own children
According to extensive surveys of mothers seeking or using childcare in order to work, many mothers would prefer to care for their young children at home if they could afford to do so.1,20,21 Moreover, in 1993, 65% of Australians reportedly thought it preferable that mothers of preschool children should not take paid employment outside the home.22 Yet when, as in Australia, taxation systems largely disregard childrearing costs23 and favour two-income families, the latter can outbid single-income families in acquiring homes. Prices rise to the level the market will bear and, to compete, more mothers seek paid employment and childcare.1,24 Childcare subsidies aggravate this vicious circle, unless balanced by equal help to home-caring parents through "family-friendly" taxation policies.23,25

Child care centres were targeted in the research because they had a good number of individuals in one place and very young children had poorly-developed hygiene skills.
Ms Walters was quick to point out that child care centres should not be perceived as having poor health practices, but that the probability of exposure to other children was greater at day care than in the community generally.