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Celebrating a Life — Kathryn Blackmon

by Bettye Caldwell
November/December 2009
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/celebrating-a-life--kathryn-blackmon/5019003/

In early August, 2009, Kathryn Blackmon, a true heroine of child care and early childhood, died from a massive heart attack. A heart attack powerful enough to take Kathryn out would have to be massive because she had such a big heart. You say you have never heard of Kathryn Blackmon? Well, it's true that she never wrote an article or a book and never made a presentation at NAEYC. All she did was provide loving and creative care through long and tiring hours and days to countless young children for over 30 years. And she did this while under-paid, mostly uninsured, and sometimes unappreciated.

Over 50 years ago, Dr. Julius Richmond and I began the Children's Center, a high-quality care and education program for poor ­children with dysfunctional families in Syracuse, New York. The program was usually identified as "the first infant day care center in America." Although it was nice to hear that accolade, it wasn't accurate. It wasn't the first, as there was already a lot of day care for infants and toddlers in America. The problem was that, for the most part, it was very bad care. We were lucky in finding outstanding people to work in the ...

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