ERIC Number: EJ938191
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Infant-Toddler Child Care in the United States: Where Has It Been? Where Is It Now? Where Is It Going?
Lally, J. Ronald
Zero to Three (J), v24 n1 p29-34 Sep 2003
The author summarizes trends in infant-toddler child care before 1960 and describes how interdisciplinary meetings on early development at the Mental Health Study Center of the National Institute of Mental Health in the 1970s led to the founding of The National Center for Clinical Infant Programs (now ZERO TO THREE) in 1977. Periodic legislative efforts to create formal systems of publicly funded infant-toddler child care have not succeeded. The author describes President Richard Nixon's 1971 veto of the Comprehensive Child Development Act as a turning point that separated the U.S. from the rest of the industrialized world by leaving responsibility for child care with individual families rather than the society as a whole. He outlines efforts by various groups during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s to professionalize infant-toddler group care, including challenges and setbacks as well as successes. The author argues that the creation of the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant Program and Early Head Start were the most significant positive advances, but progress is slow. The author concludes with four recommendations for improving infant-toddler child care in the future: 1) build the profession of infant-toddler child care as an essential supplement to family activities enriching a child's experiences; 2) develop a responsive approach to curriculum; 3) provide training and contemplative time for early care and education teachers; and 4) increase the visibility of the payoff of infant-toddler child care to the larger community.
Descriptors: Mental Health, Toddlers, Infants, Child Care, Child Development, Educational Trends, Trend Analysis, Educational Development, Educational History, Politics of Education, Performance Factors, Educational Policy, Change Strategies, Educational Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States