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Time To Care

Time To Care: Redesigning Child Care To Promote Education,

Joan Lombardi
Copyright Date: 2003
Published by: Temple University Press
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  • Book Info
    Time To Care
    Book Description:

    In this important work, Joan Lombardi, one of Americas foremost experts on child care, shows how our current system is not meeting the needs of America's families and describes a vision for redesigning this system to promote healthy child and youth development. Both as an expert and as a parent, the author guides the reader through the problems that face the current child care system and outlines the possible solutions. Drawing on the most recent innovations from across the country, she offers fresh ideas for improving the quality and availability of child care, both for young children and those in after school programs.From renewal of welfare reform to the administration's efforts to promote literacy, debate at both the state and federal levels about child care will continue for the foreseeable future. Joan Lombardi shows how to bridge the gap between early education and child care by taking advantage of the hours that children spend in care to encourage child and youth development and by creating a system of program and community supports to improve quality.

    eISBN: 978-1-59213-774-9
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Richard C. Leone

    In the years immediately after World War II, just 12 percent of American women with children under six years of age were in the labor force. Over the next half-century, that share multiplied more than fivefold. At the same time, the labor-force participation of women with school-age children also soared, from just over one-quarter to slightly more than three-quarters.

    The lion’s share of those increases occurred during the past generation, but the trends have been evident for long enough that one might reasonably have expected the nation to have responded in significant ways to such a fundamental social transformation. As...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. 1 Reframing Child Care
    (pp. 1-28)

    Whether I was on a plane, attending an event in Washington, D.C., or visiting a welfare office, the stories were always the same, but always deeply personal. They came from fathers as well as mothers. They came from people who made minimum wage and people who worked at the highest rung on the corporate ladder. The words varied, but the message was usually the same: Can I talk to you about my child-care situation? Can you help me?

    During the two years I served as the first director of the federal Child Care Bureau, I heard a range of questions...

  6. 2 Looking Back: Child Care in the United States in the Twentieth Century
    (pp. 29-53)

    When Katherine and her husband, Jessie, had their first child, one issue became central in their lives: the need to find the highest-quality care for their son.¹ On October 23, 1997, Katherine stood in the East Room of the White House and told her story—a story repeated every day by millions of families across the country. For those of us sitting in the audience that day at the first White House Conference on Child Care, something had changed. This was not a mother leaning over the back fence sharing her story with a neighbor; this mother was talking into...

  7. 3 A Good Beginning: Redesigning Child Care as Early Education and Family Support
    (pp. 54-93)

    When I first taught in a child-care program for young children in Washington, D.C., Karen was one of the four-year-olds in my class. Her mother, a single parent, lived and worked only minutes from the Capitol. Karen and a group of eighteen to twenty other children spent their days with me and a teaching assistant. The center was where Karen ate breakfast and lunch, listened to stories, explored new interests, made first friends, and learned to write her name. She came to the center early in the morning and often stayed until closing.

    This center, not the kindergarten classroom, was...

  8. 4 The New Neighborhood: Redefining Education After School
    (pp. 94-127)

    It was the summer of 1975. I had been hired to help set up five child-care centers in Montgomery County, Maryland. Four of the centers were to be after-school programs. Walking into one of the empty rooms in a community center, I felt a sense of excitement, but I also felt very alone. I wondered where to start. There were few places to look for guidance on how to do this, few other programs to visit, few experts to turn to; there was no easy formula, no system of support.

    That hot summer day came back to me in a...

  9. 5 The Caring Community: Rekindling a Commitment to Our Children
    (pp. 128-165)

    Although my most recent years have been spent working to improve federal and state policy on behalf of early-education and after-school programs, I have always believed that the spirit and strength of this work remains in communities. Child care can provide a reason for caring about other people’s children; it can draw people in toward a common purpose. Working to improve care for children has been a struggle, but it is slowly growing into a grassroots movement of people coming together to improve the quality of life for the families in their communities.

    Patty Siegel, executive director of the California...

  10. 6 Toward Redesigned Child Care: A Call for Investment and Reform
    (pp. 166-192)

    Child-care policies in the United States are long overdue for reform. We live in a world where most developed nations recognize that parents need time and support to care for their newborn infants, as well as better options when they return to work, and where preschool is recognized as a fundamental part of education. Yet the United States ranks among industrialized countries that spend the fewest public dollars per child on early education.¹ In order to continue building a strong and competitive nation, we simply must catch up and begin to make the type of investments that recognizes new realities....

  11. Notes
    (pp. 193-218)
  12. Index
    (pp. 219-232)