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Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




As a teacher in the Stockton Public Schools, the writer became interested in the child-care program when he was asked to direct the newly formed center at the Lafayette school in Stockton on July 1, 1945. At this writing he served nearly two years in this center and has a modest feeling that possibly his experiences, observations and conclusions might be worth writing down, hence this thesis.

At the outset the author intended to confine his thesis to the Child-Care Center as a war emergency matter, feeling that child-care centers were more or less of recent origin, set up mainly as a temporary measure to meet the needs of our enormously expanding industries and the need to supplant man-power with woman-power. At first he had the feeling that once the emergency was over, we would revert to the belief that the mother's place was in the home and that the child should remain there as long as possible and that we would continue the standard educational pattern used before the war.

But as he has worked in the day-care program for the past two years and having gathered much information from books and pamphlets as well as from many discussions with co-workers, teachers and parents, his feelings about the program have run the gauntlet from indifference, through mild interest to a genuine belief that the nursery and extended-care idea, in addition to meeting a vital need in the present emergency, has something worthwhile to offer education when the war is over. Today, as never before the needs of young children the world over should be given new consideration. With the whole world embroiled in a war in which the cream of the male population is being lost, the children of this generation will be called upon to play an increasingly responsible part in the years to come. Within the past twenty years, we have come to an ever increasing realization that if the security of two, three, four and five-year old children is shaken, their entire lives may be affected. Indeed, it often happens that when such children become adults, even though apparently successful, they cannot quite shake that brooding sense of anxiety and the feeling of impending ill that overshadowed their lives as children.1

With this none too bright picture for the future, what can we, as parents and teachers offer our children? Many homes are being broken up or upset by the father joining the service or to meet the need for increased production of war materials, families have migrated to overpopulated areas where people are compelled to live under extremely trying conditions. Courage, strength and resourcefulness and the best thought and planning are now needed by all to provide the children with the best opportunities so that the scar of this war will not leave too great an impression on their lives. Fortunately far-seeing individuals in many communities, together with the Federal government are meeting this urgent need by the establishment of child-care centers where parents can bring their children and teachers can assist by giving some of their time.

It was during and after the war years of 1914-1918 that the problems of young children first became a matter of public concern, largely due to the fact that such a high percentage of young men were considered unfit for military service.

Other facts are being learned as a result of the present war which are likely to nourish the growth and development of children, and those likely to impede children's progress.





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