A study published in the Australian Journal for Early Childhood found that in all but the highest quality childcare centres increased levels of stress hormones are found in children.
Researchers Sims, Guilfoyle and Parry measured cortisol levels in the saliva of children attending childcare. Cortisol is a hormone produced in response to stress, and generally is highest in the morning before gradually declining through the day.
The study found that, except for childcare centres rated by Australian government standards as ‘High Quality’ , cortisol levels in children’s saliva tended to increase further rather than decline, indicating a chronic stress status.
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