A Welcome for Every Child

A Welcome for Every Child

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This report on European developments in infant and toddler care services was prepared to help define issues and options for the improvement and expansion of infant and toddler care and family support systems in the United States. Introductory comments suggest that advanced industrialized countries have almost unanimously elected universal but voluntary preschool for children for various stated purposes. The report next focuses on six countries whose experiences are most relevant to the United States, providing an overview of child care coverage and options, administration, costs, educational philosophy, staffing, and family support services. Detailed profiles of specific schools, programs, or initiatives are also included. Highlighted findings include the following: (1) Denmark has the highest coverage of child care provision for children under age 3 in Western Europe, combining center care and family day care of high quality; (2) in France, services for children under age 3 are under health auspices, while its preschool program service for children aged 2 to 5 years is under education auspices, and family support services are emerging out of this base as a universal program; (3) Italy has almost all of its 3- to 5-year-olds enrolled in preschool, but has only limited coverage for children under age 3; (4) Finland and Sweden, in systems covering all children to age 7, have pioneered parental at-home options for infant care, while also legislating a right to a guaranteed child care place; and (5) England has the smallest proportion of very young children in out-of-home child care. (AC)with aquot;preschool readinessaquot; in chose countries with universal preschools (France, Italy, Denmark), and the importance of ... As part of this concern, we note the emphasis on the cognitive and socialization aspects of these programs as well as ... helping children and parents adjust to transitions as an important factor in a successful preschool and primary school experience. ... The latter cover one- quarter to one-third of operating service costs, depending on the country, except in Finland, anbsp;...

Title:A Welcome for Every Child
Author: Sheila B. Kamerman, Alfred J. Kahn
Publisher:Zero to Three - 1994-01-01

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