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Oliver James' nursery damage claims 'unjustified'

7th June 2010

Child development specialist Kathy Sylva claims that nurseries do not do damage to the majority of children.

The professor of educational psychology at Oxford University said claims made by They F*** You Up author Oliver James that nursery may be harmful to children's development are unfounded.

James states that 'there is undeniable evidence that the experience is highly stressful and can be harmful'.

However, Sylva, author of Child Development, told The Sunday Times that those who attend nurseries that are deemed 'average' or better are more capable of forming relationships when they start primary school compared to those who do not.

'A lot of parents worry unnecessarily about this issue but my research shows that the vast majority of children are not impaired on any measure by attending nursery under the age of two,' she told the news provider.

Her claim is based on research from the Effective Provision of Pre-School Education, which looked at the progress of 3,000 children from 1996 to the present day.

The study is the largest of its kind ever conducted in Europe.

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