Everybody's Children: Child Care as a Public Problem


In this important book, William T. Gormley, Jr., argues that child care is a social problem of critical importance and that there are compelling reasons for government intervention. Because child care quality affects how children grow up - for better or for worse - the government has a responsibility to improve and reshape the child care system. Gormley offers a balanced, comprehensive analysis of market, government, and societal failures to ensure quality child care in the United States. He finds that unreliable child care contributes to family stress and undermines efforts to achieve educational readiness, welfare reform, and gender equity; that regulators and family support agencies do not distinguish sharply enough between good and bad child care facilities; and that government and businesses provide inadequate financial and logistical support. As a result, children suffer, as does society as a whole. Everybody's Children presents evidence on how different states and communities have responded to child care challenges. Gormley prescribes the roles to be played by federal, state, and local governments, for-profit and nonprofit child care providers, churches, schools, and family support agencies. He offers a number of reform strategies and argues that different levels of government and societal institutions must work together to achieve the goals of efficiency, justice, choice, discretion, coordination, and responsiveness - and, ultimately, to create the best system possible for our children.

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