Childcare can protect the children of working mothers who are in unsatisfying jobs that leave them emotionally exhausted, according to a study published yesterday.
Researchers from Bristol, Bath and Kent universities studied more than 50 nursery school children, and found levels of the stress hormone cortisol were more than double in children whose mothers were unsatisfied and stressed at work.
However, spending longer at nursery school was found to help protect these children from “stress transmission”. In fact, the longer these children spent at nursery, the happier they were.
The report, published in the journal Developmental Psychobiology yesterday, says more support is needed for working mothers to help improve their job satisfaction and increase the availability of affordable childcare options.
“Improving the job satisfaction of working mothers means that they are less stressed. Extending the availability of affordable and adequate childcare may not only improve the quality of life for the mothers, but in doing so may improve the long-term health of their children,” said David Jessop from Bristol University, one of the report’s authors.