Child Care Today: Getting it Right for Everyone
From the universally admired author of the best-selling classicYourBaby and Child,the first comprehensive—and objective—book on the state of child care in America and the world today. Who is caring for today’s children? How well are they succeeding? What does care cost, and who is paying for it? How do parents go about choosing care for their children, and are they satisfied with what they find? Penelope Leach answers these and other urgent questions with facts and figures gathered from the most current research, brought to life by the voices of parents, including those involved in her own five-year study.
Leach sees “work-home balance” as being the major conundrum of the day. She delineates the challenge of fitting children’s unchanged needs into society’s changing demands and the dilemma of today’s parents needing to be in two places at once. She describes in detail the various ways Western countries address that challenge: care given by parents, extended family, and nonfamily; care provided in the child’s home, in other homes, and in professional settings; child care funded by paying parents or by the government. Considering the issues from the various viewpoints of politicians, policy makers, professionals, parents, and children themselves, the author discusses the impact of each kind of care on children of different ages.
Leach highlights the urgent need in America today for measures to raise the quality of child care, and to make the best care we can provide available to all families, just as it is (often by government mandate) in most other developed nations. Setting out clearly and candidly what is known about every aspect of child care—including the often hidden feelings and fears of parents—Penelope Leach presents a critical case for building and implementing an agenda for change.