Child Day Care

day nursery

day nursery, day-care center, or crèche (krĕsh), institution for the care of the children of working parents. Originating in Europe in the late 18th and early 19th cent., day nurseries were established in the United States by private charities in the 1850s, the first being the New York Day Nursery (1854). Early day nurseries cared for children of all ages, but problems arising from inadequately trained and motivated staff caused most states to limit day nurseries to serving only children from two to five years old. The women's liberation movement, as well as other social developments of the mid-20th cent., spurred the growth of day nurseries and led to efforts designed to lower the age at which children may be cared for. Many centers now provide infant care. The federally funded Head Start program (est. 1965) was designed to provide a combination of educational and day-care services to children from poor families. The day nursery should not be confused with the nursery school, an educational institution with different objectives.

See E. S. Beer, Working Mothers and the Day Nursery (1947, repr. 1970); E. B. Evans and G. E. Saia, Day Care for Infants (1972); M. Steinfels, Who's Minding the Children? (1974).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

A Mother's Job: The History of Day Care, 1890-1960
Elizabeth Rose.
Oxford University Press, 1999
Child Care in Context: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
Michael E. Lamb; Kathleen J. Sternberg; Anders G. Broberg; C. Philip Hwang.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992
Children at Home and in Day Care
K. Alison Clarke-Stewart; Irvine Christian P. Gruber; Linda May Fitzgerald.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994
Child Care in the 1990s: Trends and Consequences
Alan Booth.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992
Everybody's Children: Child Care as a Public Problem
William T. Gormley Jr.
Brookings Institutuion, 1995
Championing Child Care
Sally S. Cohen.
Columbia University Press, 2001
We Are Not Babysitters: Family Childcare Providers Redefine Work and Care
Mary C. Tuominen.
Rutgers University Press, 2003
Schools of the 21st Century: Linking Child Care and Education
Matia Finn-Stevenson; Edward Zigler.
Westview Press, 1999
Time to Care: Redesigning Child Care to Promote Education, Support Families, and Build Communities
Joan Lombardi.
Temple University Press, 2003
By a Thread: How Child Care Centers Hold on to Teachers, How Teachers Build Lasting Careers
Marcy Whitebook; Laura Sakai.
W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2004
In the Business of Child Care: Employer Initiatives and Working Women
Judith D. Auerbach.
Praeger Publishers, 1988
An Ecological Approach to the Study of Child Care: Family Day Care in Israel
Miriam K. Rosenthal.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994
Child Care in Russia: In Transition
Jean Ispa.
Bergin & Garvey, 1994
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