Importance Maternal depression is a major risk factor for the development of children’s mental health problems. No population-based study to date has examined whether early child care spanning the full preschool period from infancy onward is protective for children of depressed mothers. Objective To examine whether early child care moderates associations between maternal depressive symptoms (MDSs) and child internalizing problems (emotional problems [EPs], separation anxiety symptoms, and social withdrawal symptoms [SWSs]) during the preschool period.

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