Welcome to the home page of the Families, Children and Child Care study (FCCC)
This longitudinal study of 1,200 children and their families was conducted by a research team led by Professor Kathy Sylva and Professor Alan Stein at the University of Oxford, and Dr. Penelope Leach in London. This website is intended for all those interested in the use of child care for young children, including policy makers, researchers, students, child care providers and parents.

On this website you can find details about the team, information about the families who participated in the study, research findings and additional relevant information.

FCCC is funded by The Tedworth Charitable Trust and The Glass-House Trust.


Families, Children and Child Care (FCCC) is a prospective longitudinal study of the care of 1,201 UK children from birth to school age, funded by the The Tedworth Charitable Trust and The Glass-House Trust.

The purpose of this research was to examine the short and longer-term effects of childcare on children’s development between birth and school entry. The research outcomes considered include: health and growth, social and emotional development, and cognitive and educational development.

The following types of care were studied:

  • care at home by mother and/or father;
  • care by grandparents, other relations, or friends;
  • care by nannies in the child’s own home;
  • care by childminders in the childminder’s home;
  • group care in day nurseries or child care centres, both public and private;
  • combinations of the above.

Two research sites were involved, one in North London and the other in Oxfordshire. Half the families from each area were recruited by research teams during antenatal hospital visits between January 1998 and June 1999; the remainder were recruited from baby clinics, up until March, 2001. Inclusion in the study was only confirmed once the infants had been born.

Exclusion criteria were:

  • multiple births;
  • infants with significant developmental delay;
  • infants born to mothers under 16 years of age;
  • infants who spent more than 2 days in a special care baby unit immediately after birth.

The total sample consisted of 1,201 infants (599 boys and 602 girls), of whom 601 lived in Oxfordshire and 600 in North London. For more details of the sample click here.

Information about the children was collected at 3, 10, 18, 30, 36 and 51 months, by researchers who visited the homes by prior arrangement. Face-to-face interviews were carried out with mothers and those who regularly cared for the infant for 12 or more hours per week. Various observations and assessments of the children were made in homes and various childcare and education settings at different ages. Questionnaires were also completed by mothers and fathers.