Children First: What Our Society Must Do--and Is Not Doing--for Our Children Today

Children First: What Our Society Must Do--and Is Not Doing--for Our Children Today

by Penelope Leach
     
 

Children First is the most important and urgent book on childcare we have yet had from the internationally admired author of the classic Your Baby & Child.

In it Penelope Leach calls on us as individuals and as a nation to make good on the promise of our endless rhetoric about the importance of family by creating the indispensable economic and social supports for

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Overview

Children First is the most important and urgent book on childcare we have yet had from the internationally admired author of the classic Your Baby & Child.

In it Penelope Leach calls on us as individuals and as a nation to make good on the promise of our endless rhetoric about the importance of family by creating the indispensable economic and social supports for children that are now so tragically missing.

She asks us — in our legislation, in our policy-making, in our industrial might — to think of children first and thereby let a new rush of sanity and health into our society.

She presents us with the paradox that after spending spectacular millions and employing the most sophisticated medical science to help children come into the world, our society turns its back on them in the very years during which they are developing. She shows us how, while paying constant lip service to family, we fail to acknowledge the difficulties of parenting in the nineties and to make sure that conditions essential to the raising of children are available to parents.

It is Penelope Leach's contention that what parents do for their children — what they are able to do — depends on what society actually wants, approves and encourages. And, in a powerful argument against complacency, she presents specific steps by which we, as members of society, can move to fashion a new economic priority for all children; to make the child central in the fight against poverty and inequity; to achieve a rational standard of human rights for our children; and to find, in our own lives, effective new approaches to positive parenting.

Provocative, passionate, courageous, Children First is agroundbreaking book. It has the extraordinary potential to affect the lives not only of our own children but also of the children that they themselves will have in years to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
By Leach's estimate, rich Western nations spend more on beer and cigarettes than on controlling major childhood diseases or providing basic education for all children, family planning and maternity services. In a sane, compelling brief for society's most vulnerable and dependent citizens, this London-based child psychologist, author of the bestselling Your Baby & Child , argues for ``child-focused'' socioeconomic policies that address homelessness, poverty, schooling, daycare and parents' need to spend more time with their children. Such policies, she contends, are not only affordable but, in the long run, cost-effective. She urges employers to allow part-time or more flexible working hours for parents and advocates the creation of ``child-places,'' daycare centers in each community, run partly by parents and available to everyone. Both visionary and pragmatic, her thoughtful report--informed by comparisons of childrearing and public policies in the U.S., Britain, Sweden and Australia--is a constructive manifesto. 75,000 first printing; author tour. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
The author of such best-selling books for the new mother as Your Baby & Child ( LJ 9/1/78) argues that children must be backed up by more economic and social supports. A 75,000-copy first printing.
Denise Perry Donavin
Leach is renowned for her child care guides, including "Babyhood" (1976) and "Your Baby & Child (1978); here she moves from the practical to the political in a heavy-hitting reassessment of children's rights and roles. "Putting children at the center of society would re-value parenting and open new solutions to conflicts between working and caring," she argues. Others may have written about such conflicts, but few have Leach's comprehensive, practical knowledge of child development or her familiarity with child-rearing practices throughout the world. This is more than a call for responsible, effective day care. Leach considers the needs of mothers, fathers, children, and society as a whole with her recommendations for reform in home, the workplace, and community life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679421337
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/1994
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
303
Product dimensions:
6.62(w) x 9.57(h) x 1.22(d)

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