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Daycare

  • By: Heather Wyatt-Nichol
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Daycare is the provision of care for a child through either a daycare center (nursery) or family-run, home daycare. Daycare differs from individual childcare by babysitters or nannies in that providers care for several children at one time. Daycare is typically used by working parents to care for children below the age of 5; however, many daycare facilities also offer before- and after-school care.

Historic Background

Daycare emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe and the United States as a reflection of a variety of social and economic circumstances, including the industrial revolution and immigration of families. In the United States, nurseries and kindergartens were established to serve disadvantaged women, particularly widows and working women. During World War II, the first and ...

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