What Children Need

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Overview

"Emphasizing core cultural values of parental choice, quality of care, and work, the economist Jane Waldfogel guides readers through the maze of social science research on families, work arrangements, and child development to offer big-picture conclusions and recommendations for change." Waldfogel proposes a seven-point plan to meet the needs of children in working families while reconciling choice, quality, and employment. This timely book tells us how we can invest wisely in programs that will benefit our children and ultimately all of us.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement

In What Children Need, Jane Waldfogel guides us through more closely defined approaches to questions about the effects of parental care and attention and takes a pragmatic view of the way children adapt to variations in their environment.
— Terri Apter

Times Educational Supplement

[Waldfogel's] analysis is written from an American perspective, and most of her statistics refer to the United States, but the issues and her discussion of them transcend national boundaries.
— Gerald Haigh

British Journal of Social Work

What would a children's services system based on evidence and respect for choice look like? This lucid, well-organized and carefully researched book cuts to the heart of such debates. It should be read widely and, if taken seriously, will encourage far-reaching and positive changes in practice and research in the field.
— Nick Axford

Industrial and Labor Relations Review

What Children Need is an impressive, thought-provoking synthesis of information and ideas for designing social policy to support the healthy development of children living in an industrialized world.
— Lisa Gennetian

Greater Good

[Waldfogel] gives readers a solid sense of the gaps between what children need and what they are getting, as well as a blueprint for what public policy can and should do to provide for those needs.
— Christine Carter McLaughlin

Frank Furstenberg
Waldfogel's book is undoubtedly the best informed, wisest, and most convincing description of the benefits and risks of childcare arrangements in the United States. It is tightly organized, lucidly written, and utterly engaging.
Ellen Galinsky
What Children Need argues that there are three principles that policy makers should use to ensure that children's needs are met: respecting parental choice, promoting quality, and supporting parental employment. Waldfogel believes that there are tensions among these values and it is by identifying and grappling with the tensions that we will find real possibilities for creative solutions.
Times Literary Supplement - Terri Apter
In What Children Need, Jane Waldfogel guides us through more closely defined approaches to questions about the effects of parental care and attention and takes a pragmatic view of the way children adapt to variations in their environment.
Times Educational Supplement - Gerald Haigh
[Waldfogel's] analysis is written from an American perspective, and most of her statistics refer to the United States, but the issues and her discussion of them transcend national boundaries.
British Journal of Social Work - Nick Axford
What would a children's services system based on evidence and respect for choice look like? This lucid, well-organized and carefully researched book cuts to the heart of such debates. It should be read widely and, if taken seriously, will encourage far-reaching and positive changes in practice and research in the field.
Industrial and Labor Relations Review - Lisa Gennetian
What Children Need is an impressive, thought-provoking synthesis of information and ideas for designing social policy to support the healthy development of children living in an industrialized world.
Greater Good - Christine Carter McLaughlin
[Waldfogel] gives readers a solid sense of the gaps between what children need and what they are getting, as well as a blueprint for what public policy can and should do to provide for those needs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674022126
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2006
  • Series: Family and Public Policy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Waldfogel is Professor of Social Work and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
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Table of Contents

1 Children and parents 11

2 Infants and toddlers 36

3 Preschool-age children 83

4 School-age children 126

5 Adolescents 157

6 Where do we go from here? 176

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