Youth Services Law

Reassessing Nap Time for Preschool

Posted In Day Care

Daycare cotsA study published in the May issue of the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics concludes that more than 60 minutes of mandatory nap time at child care can disrupt a child’s sleep patterns. The researchers studied 168 preschoolers, and found that children who had more than 60 minutes of mandatory nap time a day had significantly less sleep at night. They also found that the effects continued into the following school year.

Of course, this is only one study with a limited sample. Even so, day care centers and regulators need to be aware of its results. The researchers defined “mandatory nap time” as “the period in which children were not permitted any alternative activity except lying in their bed.” It is consistent with other studies showing that children need time for high-energy play. The trend of current research is that young children need nap time, but not too much of a good thing.

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