Childcare infection is the spread of infection during childcare, typically because of contact among children in daycare or school.[37] This happens when groups of children meet in a childcare environment, and there is an individual with an infectious disease who may then spread it to the entire group. Commonly spread diseases include influenza-like illness and enteric illnesses, such as diarrhea among babies using diapers. Illnesses and diseases may also include ringworm, head lice, and hand, feet, mouth disease. It is uncertain how these diseases spread, but hand washing reduces some risk of transmission and increasing hygiene in other ways also reduces risk of infection.[38][39]
Independent studies suggest that good daycare is not harmful.[57] In some cases, good daycare can provide different experiences than parental care does, especially when children reach two and are ready to interact with other children. Children in higher quality childcare had somewhat better language and cognitive development during the first 4½ years of life than those in lower quality care.
Spain provides paid maternity leave of 16 weeks with 30-50% of mothers returning to work (most full-time) after this[citation needed], thus babies 4 months of age tend to be placed in daycare centers. Adult-infant ratios are about 1:7-8 first year and 1:16-18 second year.[citation needed] Public preschool education is provided for most children aged 3–5 years in "Infantil" schools which also provide primary school education.[citation needed]