The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the continued expansion of high quality day care programs for the nation's children. It is preparing a booklet, Recommendations for Day Care Centers for Infants and Children, to serve as a guideline for establishing quality day care. The Academy also has embarked on a program to help pediatricians understand their role in fostering high quality day care.
All children should have the opportunity to optimally develop their physical, intellectual, and social potential. The care and guidance they are given in their early years are of critical importance for such development. For most children, this child care and guidance are best given in their own homes, by their own families, but may need to be supplemented by child care services provided by private or governmental agencies. Because they are working, an increasing proportion of mothers are not at home to fulfill the maternal role in care and guidance. In 1971, 43% of mothers in the United States were employed: one-third of the mothers of preschool children and one-half of the single mothers of young children. For some children the home may not be the best place because of social or financial poverty or family discord which inhibit child development. Alternative methods of caring for children to help them achieve their fullest potential are needed more now than at any time in our history.
Day care services should be a supplement to, not a substitute for, the family as the primary agent for the child's care and development.
- Copyright © 1973 by the American Academy of Pediatrics