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Childcare - Childcare Policy Issues

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The care and education of young children is a primary responsibility of parents; however, the wellbeing of children is also an important concern for the whole society. What rights and responsibilities should parents, employers, schools, community groups, and the society have for children? If governments certify that childcare meets basic standards, what should these standards be? Should parents who do not work outside the home receive support for the care they provide for children?

Childcare has become an important business (more than $40 billion is spent annually for child-care in the United States), and a central component of the economic and social goals of many countries. In some countries, such as France and Taiwan, curriculum and standards for the professional preparation of caregivers are established at a national level and childcare is universally available. In other countries, such as the United States and Canada, the responsibility for finding high-quality childcare is primarily a parental responsibility (Brennan 1998; Prochner and Howe 2000). Standards are usually the most rigorous for centerbased care although little formal preparation may be required for family day-care providers, relatives, or caregivers in the child's home.

Childcare has become an accepted part of life for many families in the world and its use is linked with a variety of purposes, national priorities, and policies. However, the lack of adequate funding to meet the demands of the childcare system appears to be a worldwide constant (Feeney 1992). A second universal challenge is to find ways to ensure that children receive high-quality care in all settings and that the care also meets the needs and concerns of family members, employers, caregivers, schools, and society in general (Swaminathan 1998).


Bibliography

Atkinson, A. M. (1992). "Stress Levels of Family Day Care Providers, Mothers Employed Outside the Home, and Mothers at Home." Journal of Marriage and the Family 54:379–386.

Boocock, S. S.; Barnett, W. S.; and Frede, E. (2001). "Long-Term Outcomes of Early Childhood Programs in Other Nations: Lessons for Americans." Young Children 56(5):43–50.

Booth, A., ed. (1992). Childcare in the 1990s: Trends and Consequences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Breddecamp, S., and Copple, C., eds. (1997). Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Brennan, D. (1998). The Politics of Australian Childcare, rev. edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Cochran, M., ed. (1993). International Handbook of Childcare Policies and Programs. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Carnoy, M. (2000). Sustaining the New Economy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Dewey, J. (1900). The School and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Edwards, C.; Gandini, L.; and Forman, G., eds. (1998). The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach—Advanced Reflections, 2nd edition. Greenwich, CT: Ablex.

Feeney, S. (1992). Early Childhood Education in Asia and the Pacific. New York: Garland.

Froebel, F. (1896). Pedagogics of the Kindergarten, trans. J. Jarvis. New York: Appleton.

Gilliam, W., and Ziglar, E. F. (2000). "A Critical Meta- Analysis of All Evaluations of State Funded Preschool from 1977 to 1998: Implications for Policy, Service Delivery and Program Evaluation." Early Childhood Research Quarterly 15(4):441–73.

Lamb, M. E.; Steinberg, K. J.; Hwang, C. P; and Broberg, A. G., eds. (1992). Childcare in Context. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Montessori, M. (1936). The Secret of Childhood. Bombay, India: Orient Longman.

Nelson, M. K. (1991). Negotiated Care: The Experience of Family Day Care Providers. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Pestalozzi, J. H. (1900). How Gertrude Teaches Her Children. Syracuse, NY: Bardeen.

Piaget, J. (1952). The Origins of Intelligence in Children. New York: International Universities Press.

Prochner, L., and Howe, N., eds. (2000) Early Childhood Care and Education in Canada. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

Reynolds, A. (2000). Success in Early Intervention. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Schweinhart, L., and Weikart D. P. (1997). "The High/Scope Preschool Curriculum Comparison Study through Age 23." Early Childhood Research Quarterly 12(2):117–43.

Shonkoff, J., and Phillips, D. (2000). From Neurons to Neighborhoods. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Swaminathan, M. (1998). The First Five Years: A Critical Perspective on Early Childhood Care and Education in India. New Delhi: Sage.


Swiniarski, L. A.; Breitborde, M.; and Murphy, J. (1999). Educating the Global Village: Including the Young Child in the World. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2000). Who's Minding the Kids? Child-Care Arrangements, 1995. Current Population Report. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Woodill, G.; Bernhard, J; and Prochner, L. (1992). International Handbook of Early Childhood Education. New York: Garland.

Yánez, L.(2000). "Reflections on Dynamics, Process, and Initial Findings." Early Child Matters 96:17-25.


Other Resources

Giannarelli, L., and Barsimantov, J. (2000). "Childcare Expenses of America's Families." The Urban Institute. Available from http://www.urban.org.

Katz, L. (1999). "International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education: Lessons from My Travels." Early Childhood Research and Practice 1(1). Available from http://www.ecrp.uiuc.edu.

Oberhuemer, P. (2000). "Conceptualizing the Professional Role in Early Childhood Centers: Emerging Profiles in Four European Countries." Early Childhood Research and Practice 2(2). Available at http://www.ecrp.uiuc.edu.

ALICE M. ATKINSON

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