Minding the Children: Child Care in America from Colonial Times to the Present

Minding the Children: Child Care in America from Colonial Times to the Present

by Geraldine Youcha
     
 

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"Beyond childcare theories and early childhood gurus, here is how children have actually been raised in America over the last four centuries. From wet nurses and Southern mammys, settlement houses and"See more details below

Overview

"Beyond childcare theories and early childhood gurus, here is how children have actually been raised in America over the last four centuries. From wet nurses and Southern mammys, settlement houses and"

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Youcha (Women and Alcohol), a mother of three, argues that the concept of full-time motherhood is a ``myth'' because other women, as well as male relatives and servants, have always helped care for offspring, full- or part-time, singly or in groups. She cites the dame schools for two-year-olds in colonial times, as well as the children's projects during WWII, ``when almost forgotten federally supported centers provided everything from health care to before-and-after-school care to the children of women working in war industries.'' Youcha traces the effects of plantation life and the industrial revolution on the status of women and children, and the impact of more recent factors like feminism and single motherhood, the rise in the divorce rate and drug use. She rates Head Start as among the most promising current government-funded programs. Noting that each era has to find its own way of caring for its children, Youcha provides perspective for today's debates. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Youcha (Drugs, Alcohol and Your Children, LJ 3/15/89) presents a fascinating historical account of the different child care arrangements experienced in America, illuminated with riveting passages from diaries, letters, and other primary sources recounting the nurturing care children received under these systems, as well as accounts of abuse and neglect. The book does not claim to be comprehensive in scope but focuses on specific time periods and social groups. For example, the Utopian communities of the 19th century are studied in detail, while the history of family day care arrangements remains unexplored. The current cry to resurrect the orphanage substantiates Youcha's belief that child care today is a look back at the past; it has all been tried before, and various systems have been rejected, replaced, or renamed to fit the ethos of a particular time. Recommended.-Ann Babits Grice, East Brunswick P.L., N.J.
Kathryn Carpenter
Mothers have always had help caring for their children. Many of the child-care solutions in use today--day care, sick-child care, after-school care, even Head Start--have antecedents. In this thoroughly researched account of American child care, Youcha looks at apprenticeships and the provision of substitute fathering; mammies, planters' wives, and child care in the South; child care in the nineteenth-century Christian communities of the Shakers and the Society of Perfectionists; settlement houses, orphanages, and care of immigrant children; boarding schools, nannies, and care of upper-class children; foster care during the Depression; and federally subsidized day care during World War II. Historical child-rearing guides, personal letters and diaries, and findings from contemporary psychology contribute to a rich, dramatic analysis that traces the evolution of adult perceptions of childhood and children as well as of child-care systems. Youcha's readable, fascinating history of a concern central to Americans from colonial days to the present provides both essential insights for parents struggling with child-care choices and historical context for national policy decisions.
Booknews
Youcha documents different child-rearing methods in this country, showing that the myth of the full-time mother does not fit the realities of the past any more than it does the present. She discusses the apprenticeship system of colonial times, federally funded daycare during WWII, communal childrearing in utopian religious communities, and orphanages. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786739769
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
04/28/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
File size:
5 MB

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