Everybody's Children: Child Care As a Public Problem / Edition 1

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Nearly two-thirds of American women with children under age six are in the labor force. It should be no surprise that child care is one of the most serious and widespread concerns of parents today. They worry constantly, wondering if they can afford a particular arrangement, dreading that their favorite provider will quit, and, mostly, questioning whether or not they're doing the best they can for their children. Although these concerns are usually considered a private headache, William Gormley argues that child care is a social problem of critical importance, aggravated by weak institutional supports, and that there are compelling reasons for government intervention.

In this important new book, Gormley offers a balanced and comprehensive analysis of the market, government, and societal failures to ensure available, affordable, high-quality child care in the United States. Unreliable child care, he says, contributes to family stress and undermines efforts to achieve educational readiness, welfare reform, and gender equity. Neither regulators nor family support agencies distinguish sharply enough between good and bad child care facilities. Meanwhile, government and businesses provide inadequate financial and logistical support. Children suffer as a result, as does society as a whole.

Gormley presents evidence on how different states and communities have responded to child care challenges and he prescribes the roles to be played by federal, state, and local governments, for-profit and non-profit child care providers, churches, schools, and family support agencies. Gormley recommends a number of reforms, including information sharing, flexible enforcement, targeted subsidies, and family-friendly workplaces. He contends that different levels of government and societal institutions must work together to achieve the goals of efficiency, justice, choice, discretion, coordination, and responsiveness.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Gormley accomplishes three very important things in Everybody's Children: He makes a compelling case for government intervention in the child care market; he provides an analytic framework for thinking about that intervention; and he provides a wealth of information about the workings of that market. The result is a volume that is likely to be the definitive work of child care policy analysis for some time to come." —American Political Science Review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gormley, winner of the Louis Brownlow Book Award for his 1989 Taming The Bureaucracy: Muscles, Prayers, and Other Strategies, offers a comprehensive but exceedingly dry view of contemporary American child care. His observations range from the obvious``Demand for child care has grown dramatically in recent years.... As of 1990, only 46.3% of all children under the age of five were primarily cared for by a parent at home''to a more helpful cost analysis of for-profit and nonprofit child-care options. His research is detailed and exhaustively documented; anecdotes are conspicuously absent. After several chapters establishing that a problem exists, Gormley suggests several reform options, noting that they are not mutually exclusive. First, he says, a ``mediating structures model'' relies on ``a caring community in which one person's problem is everyone's problem.'' Secondly, ``an informed consumer model supplies parents with enough good information.'' Then there's a ``safety net model seeks to protect children... through national government action.'' Any or all of these, Gormley claims, will govern child care in the 21st century. He may well be right, but his formal and arid approach to the topic is going to have the very people who need to read the bookthe parentsforgetting where they put it the second they lay it down to tend to their children. (Oct.)
A photographic tribute to naval air craft carriers captures their awesome power in vivid pictorial detail. The father and son photography team (Yogi is also a retired vice admiral) show how the crewman live, eat, sleep, and even have their dental checkups, along side the dramatic flight shots, afterburners flaming. The accompanying text highlights information about the size and construction of the floating cities, including interviews with crew. Lacks a bibliography and index. 9x12" Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815732235
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 236
  • Lexile: 1420L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.99 (w) x 8.93 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

William T. Gormley Jr. is University Professor and professor of government and public policy at Georgetown University. He is the author of several books, including Organizational Report Cards, with David Weimer.

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Table of Contents

1 Private Headaches, Public Dilemmas 1
2 Child Care as a Social Problem 15
3 Child Care as an Institutional Problem 42
4 Markets and Black Markets 67
5 Dos, Don'ts, and Dollars 98
6 Do-Gooders, Go-Getters, and Go-Betweens 133
7 Reinventing Child Care 166
Appendix 193
Notes 197
Index 237
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