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A Capsule History of For-Profit Child Care

by Bob Benson
March/April 1996
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-capsule-history-of-for-profit-child-care/5010867/

Among many services offered in our society, child care is one of the most personal and emotion laden. I find it immensely healthy that most parents care enough about their child care decision to make it so. Were that it were universally true.

For decades, the nature of child care provider organizations reflected both this "personal" aspect and prevalent social values surrounding the child care decision. Families generally stayed intact. Most wives cared for their young children directly. Where that was not possible, families reached out to a relative or a small provider in their neighborhood. In certain large urban areas, social service agencies created child care programs for disadvantaged children.

Starting in the late 1960s, everything changed. It began with more women obtaining higher educations and being interested in putting this learning to use in the work world. Slowly, opportunities opened for women to participate in a broader array of occupations. Head Start burst upon the scene. Though focused upon early childhood development opportunities for low income children in need, Head Start had a broader impact of illustrating the benefits for all preschool age children of well designed programs to foster curiosity ...

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