A controversial psychologist has been criticised for a new report that says New Zealand mothers could be harming their children by sending them to daycare.

The report Who Cares? Mothers, Daycare and Child Wellbeing in New Zealand - commissioned by Family First New Zealand and prepared by British psychologist Aric Sigman - looks at the potential impacts of separating a child from their parent in the first few years of life.

The 30-page report, which drew on previously published research from around the world, said attending daycare, and the subsequent separation from parents, was a significant source of stress for many children.

It said 70 to 80 per cent of children in centre-based daycare had increasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which could be harmful to the child's immune system.

See the report here
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- APNZ