chapter  11
18 Pages

Day Nurseries to Day Care to Child Care to Quality 2000

Day care is child care in the absence of parents that takes place away from a child’s home and in the company of other children. It may be all-day care, allnight care, or simply a two-hour drop-in arrangement. It may be provided in the child’s home, a family day care home, or a child care center. A primary obstacle to the improvement of child care services has been the traditional belief that young children should never be separated from their mothers. Yet circumstances throughout history led to provision for child care services. The function of the day nursery was to care for children who remained part of the family unit but who, for social or economic reasons, could not receive parental care during the day. Originally the term “day care” referred to welfare covering all types of daytime services for the group care of young children. It later came to refer exclusively to the full-day programs set up for children of working, impoverished, or handicapped mothers.2