Independent studies suggest that good daycare for non-infants is not harmful. 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. Bad daycare puts the child at physical, emotional and attachment risk. Higher quality care was associated with better outcomes. 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. They were also somewhat more cooperative than those who experienced lower quality care during the first 3 years of life.
Many organizations in the developed world campaign for free or subsidized childcare for all. Others campaign for tax breaks or allowances to provide parents a non-finance driven choice. Many of the free or subsidized childcare programs in the United States are also Child Development programs, or afterschool programs which hire certified teachers to teach the children while they are in their care. There are often local industry associations that lobby governments on childcare policy, promote the industry to the public or help parents choose the right daycare provider.
The fact that women are more likely to take time out of the workforce to provide unpaid care for their children is part of the reason why there is a persistent gender wage gap in this country—10.5 percent of the differences in men’s and women’s earnings can be attributed to labor-force experience. When women work less, they pay less into Social Security over a shorter period of time, which is one of the reasons why retired women are more likely to live in poverty than retired men.
Spain provides paid maternity leave of 16 weeks with 30-50% of mothers returning to work (most full-time) after this, 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. Public preschool education is provided for most children aged 3–5 years in "Infantil" schools which also provide primary school education.