Creating a Patchwork Approach to Child Care in the 1970s

Elizabeth Rose

in The Promise of Preschool

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395075
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199775767 | DOI:
Creating a Patchwork Approach to Child Care in the 1970s

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As more mothers entered the paid workforce, and as the women's movement mobilized, members of Congress proposed building a nationwide system of universally available child care services. Although the 1971 child care bill initially had broad support, proponents battled over who would control programs, and conservative opposition to the idea of government‐funded child‐care centers mounted. Ultimately, President Nixon vetoed the bill, slamming shut the window of opportunity for creating a unified public system for child care and early education. The implications of this bill's failure would be far‐reaching, making it politically difficult to act on the issue for years to come. As the demand for child care grew through the 1970s, therefore, it was met largely through the private market. Child care continued to be seen as a responsibility of individual families, not of society as a whole.

Keywords: child care; Richard Nixon; Walter Mondale; universal; Federal; working mothers

Chapter.  11742 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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