Child Day Care and Working Mothers

July 7, 1965

Report Outline
Cark for Children of Working Women
Shifts in Public Support of Day Care
New Attitude Toward Working Mothers
Special Focus

Cark for Children of Working Women

Administration's Support of Day Care Centers

Efforts of leading child welfare organizations to obtain increased tax support for day care centers for the children of working mothers are receiving the encouragement of the Johnson administration. Politicians have not shown much interest in such projects in the past except when, as during World War II, the labor of women was urgently needed to meet a national emergency. When the emergency passed, legislators reverted to the traditional view that government should not assist mothers of young children to take jobs by furnishing them free or low-cost baby sitters.

When Congress first authorized appropriation of federal funds for day care centers in 1962, it appeared finally to have recognized a sociological fact of life: that women in large numbers are in the labor force, that they are there to stay, that many of them have children, and that if the children receive poor care or no care while their mothers work, there is bound to be trouble. The trouble will range from serious accidents and acts of juvenile delinquency to emotional instability, mental and physical ill health, mental retardation and unemployability. Although federal aid to help the states establish day care centers was authorized three years ago, the actual amounts appropriated by Congress so far—about $8 million altogether—have scarcely begun to meet the needs.

At latest count, there were licensed day care centers in the United States to accommodate only about 250,000 of the 12 million children under the age of 14 whose mothers are employed. Not all children of working mothers are in need of a group-care facility, but many of them would be considerably better off if they were placed in a qualified center of this kind. And there are numerous children in need of day care service for reasons other than employment of the mothers—children whose mothers have died and children whose mothers are sick, institutionalized, or otherwise not in position to care for them.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Child Care
Jul. 20, 2018  Foster Care
May 08, 1998  Child-Care Options
Dec. 17, 1993  Child Care
May 06, 1983  Day-Care Needs
Jun. 14, 1972  Child Care
Jul. 07, 1965  Child Day Care and Working Mothers
Work and the Family