A Mother's Job: The History of Day Care, 1890-1960 (1999) by Elizabeth Rose

By Elizabeth Rose

American citizens at the present time reside with conflicting principles approximately day care. We criticize moms who decide upon to not remain at domestic, yet we strain ladies on welfare to go away their teenagers at the back of. We realize the advantages of early youth schooling, yet don't offer it as a public correct till youngsters input kindergarten. our youngsters are worthy, yet we pay minimal wages to the overwhelmingly woman group which cares for them. we aren't particularly definite if day care is harmful or precious for kids, or if moms should still particularly be within the team. to higher know how we've got arrived at those present-day dilemmas, Elizabeth Rose argues, we have to discover day care's past.A Mother's task is the 1st e-book to supply such an exploration. as a consequence learn of Philadelphia, Rose examines different meanings of day take care of households and companies from the overdue 19th century in the course of the postwar prosperity of the Fifties. Drawing on richly certain documents created by means of social employees, she explores altering attitudes approximately motherhood, charity, and kid's needs.How did day care swap from a charity for bad unmarried moms on the flip of the century right into a well-known desire of normal households by means of 1960? This ebook strains that transformation, telling the tale of day care from the altering views of the households who used it and the philanthropists and social staff who administered it. We see day care in the course of the eyes of the immigrants, whites, and blacks who relied upon day care provider in addition to via these of the pros who supplied it.This quantity will attract an individual drawn to knowing the roots of our present day care main issue, in addition to the wider problems with schooling, welfare, and women's work--all concerns within which the most important questions of day care are enmeshed. scholars of social heritage, women's historical past, welfare coverage, childcare, and schooling also will come upon a lot important details during this well-written ebook.

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113 The struggling single mother was also the central figure in Marion Kohn’s descriptions of Jewish immigrant nursery families, even when that image did not fit reality. In her 1913 report to her board at the Young Women’s Union, Kohn claimed that more than half of the children cared for at the nursery “came from homes where the father had deserted,” although according to Kohn’s own figures, no more than a quarter of the families applying for nursery care fit that description. Kohn went on to tell the story of Edith, an eighteen-year-old mother whose husband had deserted: “It is not easy to work ten hours a day, to leave the baby at the Nursery early in the morning, to come for it in the evening, then return to one’s squalid tenement, to build the fire and prepare the frugal meal— in warm weather and in cold, in storm and in sunlight, day after day.

Day nursery reports frequently repeated the idea that families in which mothers had to work were deprived of “normal” family life. ”121 Nursery workers were delighted when a mother who had been using the nursery returned to her “normal” status as full-time mother. For instance, the visitor for the First Day Nursery reported enthusiastically in 1917 on the Fowles family: “Everything is lovely here at present. Mr. F has been working regularly, since he came out of the House of Correction and giving Mrs.

Very rarely does the Board reject a proposed member. ”79 This observation is borne out in the records of Philadelphia’s day nurseries. A 1960 newspaper article about the history of the Lincoln Day Nursery showed a picture of Mrs. , next to Mrs. G. , and noted, “Their husbands, who are first cousins, are grandsons of the woman who founded the nursery 71 years ago. ”81 Service on this day nursery board was part of the life of women in the inner circles of Philadelphia’s fashionable society, where attention to “the same old family names” was crucial.

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