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Study: Mom's Work Affects Kids' Development

The children of mothers who go to work full time before the youngsters are 9 months old have poorer mental and verbal development at age 3 than those with stay-at-home mothers, Columbia University researchers report.

But Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, one of the study authors, cautions mothers not to panic about the findings. "The things I would say to mothers are be highly sensitive when you are with the baby and get the best child care you can afford." The best care is to have one caregiver to one or two infants, she said, although she acknowledged that can be expensive.

She added a plea to American business and to the government to do more with family leave policies so women can delay going back to work or can return part time.

This article appeared on on January 23, 2006.
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