You've seen this study discussed, I'm sure. Children who spend more than 10 hours per week in daycare for a year before kindergarten are more likely to be "disruptive" in elementary school. Miss T.? Forty, forty-five hours. A-yup. I could go look the real thing up, see how many variables they looked at to find one with significance to trumpet, but no.
And it turns out that the median income of white families raising a toddler in Manhattan right now is $284,208. Of course it's a self-selected group—those who have chosen to stay, who can afford the space in particular—but still, it's an astonishing figure. A sharp reminder that for academics, there are some benefits to living out in the boonies after ll.
EDITED TO ADD: In a comment, Meg suggested Emily Bazelon's Slate piece, which both references the original study (I could just click for the full pdf, but I might have Granolan to thank for that) and gives further information on the study and the instruments it used.
Still, the study's results, properly explained, do not suggest that kids who spent a year or two in day care when they are 3 and 4—or, in my opinion at least, kids who go to excellent day care for longer periods—will talk back to their teachers and throw more than their share of spitballs when they get older. These kids will behave themselves just fine. As long as their parents don't screw them up.
I would say that this comes as a relief, since each of my own two sons spent (or in 4-year-old Simon's case is spending) four years in day care before kindergarten. Except that I stopped taking the bad rap on day care personally a long time ago.
I've noticed that I only feel, hmmm, safe reading a lot of this mommy-wars crap when the author displays her or his ''street cred" somewhere along the way, as Bazelon does above. Not good.