Early Child Care is about the very young child--infant, toddler, and early preschool--in today's world. It grew out of a series of conferences sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Children's Hospital of Washington, D.C., and the Committee on Day Care of the Maternal and Child Health Section of the American Public Health Association. Each of the sponsoring agencies represents a focal point for pressures from groups concerned with improving the care of the young child. Faced with common concern, the three sponsoring agencies brought together a number of experts in the field to pool information and experience and to review research findings as a basis for sound planning for children less than three years of age.
The authors included in Early Child Care are pioneers in the true sense of the word.. Until recently, no one has tried to specify exactly what goes on between mother and her baby, who does what to whom in the exchange, and what happens if, instead of one mother, there is no mother, an alternating day and night mother, or many different substitutes for the mother. Until all that transpires between the mother and her baby in the best of circumstances is comprehended in sufficient detail that it can be confidently reproduced, it is impossible to make alternative plans. Early Child Care is an effort to identify what is known about young children and apply it to day-by-day programming.
Millions of mothers give their babies a good start, providing devoted and painstaking care. Such mothers somehow know when a child needs to be let alone--and when to respond. This volume attempts to define how such instincts can be reproduced in other settings.