This chapter explores family poverty in the MCS 3 when the children were aged 5 and traces changes in poverty between MCS 1 and 3, from 9 months to age 5. It notes that it is not possible to replicate exactly the measures that the government has been using to monitor the child poverty strategy using the MCS data. It further notes, however, that the MCS collects income data but records the responses in income bands, before housing costs (BHC). The MCS is a sample of families with a child of a certain age and cannot be used to compare with the results of the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) analysis of the FRS that produces data on the proportion of all dependent children in poverty.
This chapter is concerned with the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) children's experience of care from people other than the mother, with an emphasis on those children who attended group childcare settings at some point during their pre-school years. It outlines the evolving experience of non-maternal care for all the children in the MCS, across the UK, from infancy to primary school. It goes on to put a microscope on 301 childcare settings attended by a sub-group of children in England in 2005. It compares the families who did, and did not, use centre-based care, then describes the quality of centre-based care experienced by the children who did attend, and explores differential access to high-quality services. It also describes the characteristics of centres that were providing high-quality care and discusses the results in terms of government policy, ending with recommendations that could improve the quality of childcare provision.
This chapter analyses the weight and height data obtained, at the second and third surveys respectively, when cohort members were 3 and 5. It reports on the prevalence of obesity and overweight at each of these ages in the UK and examines stability and change between these ages. It also explores the variation in these measures by individual and familial risk factors.
This book documents the first five years of life of the children of the influential Millennium Cohort Study, which is tracking almost 19,000 babies born in 2000 and 2001 in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This book is the second in a series of books which will report on the findings from the data and follows on from Children of the 21st century: From birth to nine months (The Policy Press, 2005). It takes an extended look at the children's lives and development as they grow and begin formal education, and the implications for family policy, and service planning in health and social services.
The chapters in this book are written by experts across a wide range of social science and health fields and form a unique look at the early lives of children that cuts across disciplinary boundaries. It is essential reading for academics, students and researchers in these fields. It will also be of relevance to policy makers and practitioners with an interest in children's early years, family life, child development, child poverty, childcare and education and health care.
This chapter picks out some themes that have emerged from the different aspects of the children's lives covered in the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS). It draws together a few implications for the future. It notes that the threads running through this volume and this study tell of diversity, mobility, and intergenerational transmission. It explains that the diversity of the points from which the MCS children have started out in life include inequality in their family origins, while variation and inequality are beginning to emerge in the development paths of the children themselves. It further explains that on mobility, the longitudinal data permits a view of the fluidity of the families' situation over the first five years in family composition, poverty, parental employment, location, and childcare. It notes that the study also provides an important building block to assess secular change in intergenerational social mobility, and detailed evidence on the various routes through which parents transmit well-being and also social advantage to their children.
This chapter considers diversity arising from the parent's varied employment hours and care combinations, which is called family economies for both couples and lone parents. It also deals with diversity linked to ethnicity and diversity linked to partnership status as these are important policy issues. It examines the detailed employment trajectories that MCS mothers followed over these five early years and their correlates with mothers' characteristics and use of childcare. It also documents mothers' working arrangements and the relationship of these to their work-life balance. It weighs all analyses that follow using a product of the original sampling weights and an allowance for attrition.
This chapter reports some findings from the first three surveys of the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) on the nature and extent of ethnic differences in early childhood environment and outcomes up to age 5. It examines ethnic differences in child outcomes, together with background and mediating factors that are likely to have impacted on these outcomes. It outlines how ethnic groups are defined and then shows how the outcomes of interest vary by ethnic groups. It examines how some possible explanatory factors of ethnic gaps vary by ethnic group, namely selected family background characteristics and selected measures of the early childhood environment. It presents the multivariate analysis it carried out to see the extent to which family background characteristics and the early childhood environment can act as mediating factors — in some sense ‘explaining’ the ethnic divide in early child development.
This chapter focuses on indicators of social capital in the lives of the mothers of the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) children. It explains that the concept of social capital has been influential in policy circles, but is contested, and has been used for varying purposes by social theorists. It notes that for Coleman, social capital refers to ‘the set of resources that inhere in family relations and in community social organisation and that are useful for the cognitive or social development of a child or young person’. It notes further that for Putnam, social capital describes ‘features of social organisation, such as trust, norms and networks’. It examines a number of indicators of social capital that were available in the MCS data at age 5.
This chapter uses data from the MCS to provide some new empirical evidence on the extent to which one measure of parental background, family income, is correlated with two child outcomes, cognitive vocabulary ability and behavioural outcomes. It undertakes an analysis which considers the magnitude of age 3 and 5 test score gaps and gaps in behavioural outcomes by family income group. It also uses these data to describe the dynamics of child achievement and behaviour between these ages. It explores cross-cohort comparisons, comparing the MCS findings with those from earlier birth cohort studies. It offers a brief and necessarily highly selective description of relevant literature followed by a description of the data and the sample selections it adopts for empirical analysis. It presents new evidence on the inequality of early age child cognitive and behavioural outcomes, examines the early age dynamics of child achievement and behaviour, and presents conclusions.
This chapter introduces the UK Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) which is the fourth of a set of world-renowned national cohort studies in Britain, each following a group of individuals drawn from the population at large from the time of their birth and onwards through later life. It contains the origins and objectives of the study, along with the results of its first survey. It notes that the first of these nationally representative cohort studies, the MRC's National Study of Health and Development, follows people born in 1946, followed by the 1958 cohort National Child Development Study (NCDS), and later by the British Cohort Study of 1970 (BCS 70), which are following members into mid-life, complete with records of their childhood, education, health, employment, and family formation. It further notes that each cohort study forms a resource for a wide range of research into many social and medical areas.