Statement on Day Care
The pediatrician serves as an advocate for the children of the community. This advocacy includes a concern for the quality of care of all children.
The basic and most important source of child care is parenting. Three significant changes in recent years have affected patterns of parenting: (1) an increase in the number of working mothers; (2) an increase in the number of single-parent families; and (3) a decrease in the availability of extended-family alternatives. When neither parent can provide child care, assistance in parenting must be provided by family support systems, including day care.
Today in the United States there is a serious deficiency in day care services-qualitatively and quantitatively. Many children are left with inadequate care during a significant proportion of their developmental years because of the large variation in the quality of day care arrangements. In March 1974, about 6,500,000 children below regular school age required some kind of care while their mothers worked. Yet, estimates indicate that care in licensed centers and homes is available for only a little over 1,000,000. By 1985, 6,600,000 mothers aged 20 to 24, with (one or more) children under age 5, will be working or looking for work. The demand for child care facilities can be expected to increase accordingly. Pediatricians must strive for the further development of high-quality day care programs. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the continued expansion of these services. The Committee's publication, Recommendations for Day Care Centers for Infanti and Children, outlines in detail what the pediatrician needs to know about day care.
- Copyright © 1975 by the American Academy of Pediatrics