An article in The Times and plagerized here suggests that it may do children permanent mental harm to be left in nursery (daycare) when under the age of three.
Jonas Himmelstrand, a Swedish sociologist, warned MPs last night that babies and toddlers aged under the age of three should not be in daycare, and Sweden was now seeing a range of social problems caused by sending children to nursery before they were ready.
This concurs with what my wife has been reading in a few baby books, which may or may not have been particularly scientific about their claims.
I'm concerned as we're about to put our nearly one-year-old daughter into a nursery (daycare) for 3 days a week. For the other two days she'll be with her mother and at the weekends, both of us. We've carefully selected one which had a very home-like atmosphere, in which the children seemed happy and confident (although the food is not good).
So I'd like to know how much other evidence there is of permanent harm to a child in this situation, particularly for 3-days per week. Anecdotes may be interesting, but I'm especially looking for some research, whether it confirms or contradicts the above.
EDIT: FWIW, two years on we both feel that in our case, nursery has been good overall for our daughter, forcing her to learn some social skills and independence. Of course we can't know how she might've developed otherwise, so it's only our opinion.