Children In Daycare Don’t Like Freeloaders!


It never stops to amaze us how smart and just amazing children are. A new study from Yale University has shown that children dislike freeloaders and this can be seen as young as 4.

Humans like to cooperate and will even sacrifice to keep cooperation going. We see that at our daycare all the time. Children will go out of their way to cooperate. But like the study says if a child is not contributing to the group they will not appreciate it at all.

The study was for ages 4 to 10. They were given chocolates and asked to give them up to get cake. They also did this with seeds and vegetables. And very quickly children were not very happy with any child that did not contribute to the group. They would even go out of their way to “punish” the other children by taking away stickers.

And even more interestingly if the freeloader had a good excuse on why they could not participate then the dislike was not as bad.

This is a very positive study that shows even very young children, like those found in child care in large groups want to cooperate. Even if that means sacrificing something. It is our responsibility as a daycare to nurture and sustain these cooperative values.

Our childcare center does it’s best to nurture these young children and we see signs of this kind of cooperation and aversion to freeloaders all day. It is interesting that science has backed this up and yet again shows that even the very young know that cooperation in our society is very important.

As we have stated many times this is the reason a child should be going to a daycare. To interact with their peers and learn these social skills. Being at home is great but the day to day interactions our children get at daycare help them to grown to be a very balanced adult.  And if you can’t or don’t want your child in childcare then going a few times a week to a larger peer group is a must.