America's Child Care Problem: The Way Out

Overview

The revolution in women’s lives has created an unprecedented demand for non-parental child care, and sparked a growing child care industry run by both public and private providers. In this book, two esteemed economists examine the causes and potential cures of the child care problems that face this country today. Writing for policymakers, parents, and providers alike, Suzanne W. Helburn and Barbara R. Bergmann provide the first in-depth look at the child care industry, identifying crucial problems such as quality...

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Overview

The revolution in women’s lives has created an unprecedented demand for non-parental child care, and sparked a growing child care industry run by both public and private providers. In this book, two esteemed economists examine the causes and potential cures of the child care problems that face this country today. Writing for policymakers, parents, and providers alike, Suzanne W. Helburn and Barbara R. Bergmann provide the first in-depth look at the child care industry, identifying crucial problems such as quality of care and the high cost of even mediocre care. Moreover, the authors identify sources for change–including stronger regulatory procedures on providers and suppliers of care–and more government subsidies. America’s Child Care Problem examines the views of key players in all facets of the child care industry: CEOs, politicians, policy advocates, foundation directors, child care providers, and parents; and offers specific advice and guidelines for parents to use when selecting care. The book helps parents understand the hidden costs of child care; the pros and cons of child care centers versus care by nannies, relatives, and family-run centers; and danger signals that indicate a low quality of child care.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“It's time to shine an intense spotlight on child care. The question of who provides it and how it’s valued remains an unresolved political conflict. The national conversation is, in fact, stuck—and in need of “the way out” promised by Bergmann and Helburn’s book. What they’ve given us is a rational, well-defined, and workable approach that should inspire a new and better public debate and provide hope for millions of American families.” —Faith A. Wohl, president, Child Care Action Campaign

“No problem ripples through American society more than our lack of safe child care. Government policies have fallen flat, leaving fathers and mothers feeling torn between their roles as members of the work force and protectors of the future generation. Bergmann and Helburn show us that solutions exist, in this guide to sound family values, in the truest sense.” —Ambassador Swanee Hunt, director, Women and Public Policy Program, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

“This book contains a soundly-researched review of the problems with child care and a bold proposal for solutions. The ideas put forth by economists Barbara Bergmann and Suzanne Helburn need to be an important part of the child care debate in coming months and years ahead” —Ellen Galinsky, author of Ask the Children, and president, Families and Work Institute

“America's Child Care Problem: The Way Out is an engaging, thoughtful, provocative book about a crucial topic: the need to address the affordability and quality of child care for all families. The authors provide a clear, accessible overview of the key issues, and an enormously helpful guide to the challenges of building a better system.” —Mark Greenberg, Center for Law and Social Policy

"...an engaging work accessible to generalist readers but also of value to readers interested in policy analysis..."—Choice

"...I would recommend this book to policy makers, educators, and especially parents who are interested in quality child care."—CNNMoney online

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312211493
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/5/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 10.72 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara R. Bergmann has published several books on welfare, child care, and social policy, including Is Social Security Broke?: A Cartoon Guide to the Issues, and In Defense of Affirmative Action. She is Professor Emerita of Economics at American University and the University of Maryland.

Suzanne W. Helburn is Professor of Economics Emerita at the University of Colorado at Denver. She has published widely on the cost and quality of child care.

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Table of Contents

The Problem: What’s Wrong with Child Care in America?

• The Question: Is There a Shortage of Affordable Quality Care?

• The Design: What Should a New Child Care System Look Like?

• The Yardstick: What Child Care Deserves to be Called “Good?”

• The Report Card: How Much of America’s Child Care is Good?

• The Regulations: How Much Quality Control in Child Care?

• The Marketplace: What is Peculiar About the Child Care Industry?

• The Caregivers: Do Care Workers Get Enough Training and Pay?

• The Cost: Can We Afford Good Quality Care?

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