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Child Care Today: Getting It Right for Everyone Hardcover – Deckle Edge, January 20, 2009


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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (January 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400042569
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400042562
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,243,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Leach, author of the wildly popular Your Baby and Child, which has sold more than two million copies since first being published in 1978 (revised in 1997), delivers another parenting tome that will likely become the standard by which all other child-care books are measured. This thoroughly researched, heavily footnoted compendium evaluates the state of child care in the Western world in the context of caring for children (as opposed to rearing children). The rapidly changing makeup of the postindustrial world means the needs of families are changing rapidly, too, and Leach covers the topic in four parts: “Child Care Today,” which defines the term and puts it into a cultural context; “Types of Child Care,” which breaks down into two general types: “Family Care” (parents, grandparents, or live-in help) and “Formal Care” (day cares, before and after school, etc.); “Quality of Care,” which looks at the issue from various viewpoints and helps outline how to choose child care; and “Moving On,” which examines the politics and future of child care. Though Leach’s writing is precise and scientific, reflecting her training at Cambridge and the London School of Economics, she somehow keeps the narrative approachable and interesting. Her plea for looking at child care as an investment rather than an expense (well-raised children make well-adjusted adults, after all) comes through loud and clear and makes perfect sense no matter your political persuasion. There’s no doubt Child Care Today will become the bible on the subject. Stock up. --Mary Frances Wilkens

Review

“A new study on the best way to take care of kids and how parents in Western nations are currently doing it [from] Penelope Leach, the British psychologist and author of Your Baby and Child, the one book that’s always on my bedside table . . . Leach offers counsel for all of us . . . She gives us a better way to think about the [child care] decision . . . Above all, we do best by our children when we think deeply about our choices from their point of view . . . I’ve stuck with Leach’s earlier book through my first 3-1/2 years as a mother because it’s both child-centric and sensible. Child Care Today [has] the same combination of kindness and rigor.”
–Sara Sklaroff, The Washington Post

“A masterful work by a luminary in the world of child development.
If implemented, Leach’s findings would revolutionize the way America cares for its young children and bring about a radical improvement in the lives of children and their parents—and in the economic, social, and intellectual well-being of our country.”
—Virginia A. Smith, The Boston Globe

“Leach argues that asking whether child care is bad for children is asking the wrong question altogether and that we are guilty of assuming that the answer to bad child care is no child care. . . . Unparalleled in its comprehensiveness, this is highly recommended for academic libraries and should be required reading for those involved in policymaking regarding children and families.”
Library Journal (starred review)


“Will likely become the standard by which all other child-care books are measured.
This thoroughly researched, heavily footnoted compendium evaluates the state of child care in the Western world in the context of caring for children (as opposed to rearing children). Though Leach’s writing is precise and scientific, she somehow keeps the narrative approachable and interesting. Her plea for looking at child care as an investment rather than an expense (well-raised children make well-adjusted adults, after all) comes through loud and clear and makes perfect sense no matter your political persuasion. There’s no doubt Child Care Today will become the bible on the subject. Stock up.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Urging the abandonment of outdated 1950s standards–when most mothers cared for their children at home–Leach blames attitude even more than scanty financial resources for lack of progress. She examines numerous child care options, from au pairs to day care centers, probing the difficult, exhausting decisions that parents face. She also compares and contrasts the child care practices of various countries, noting, for instance, that the U.S. has no mandatory paid maternity leave while in Sweden mothers are offered 480 days with 80% of their monthly wage. Until we embrace children as everyone’s responsibility, Leach insists, the ‘working/caring conundrum’ will continue to plague parents, and society will forgo the high dividends that result when an investment is made in quality child care.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Child Care Today is an update on the state of child care in the 21st century. In addressing ‘the real issues in combining the human essentials of earning and caregiving,’ Leach looks at the things that matter. For any mother or father interested in examining their own choices in a global context, this book looks like a must-read.”
–Mackenzie Carpenter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By antichicklit on September 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is so un-emotional and objective in providing information about an emotional subject. That makes is a good choice for parents looking to figure out which type of child care is best for their child, without the usual side-helping of guilt. It is not a good choice for parents (like me) who are wondering when would be the best time for a 2 year old to start getting some group care. One part of the book implies that one on one care is the gold standard for 0-2 (so far, so good). Another part of the book describes the wonders of the Swedish model, where it is socially acceptable to put a one year old in group care for their own good and social development and implies (maybe I'm too sensitive) that parents who "keep" their kids at home too long for the child's good may just be selfish, wishful thinking on the parent's part, not to mention an outdated concept. I somehow thought that Penelope Leach was more of an advocate for parent care for babies and toddlers. She asserts over and over again that advocating for parent care is counterproductive, as "today's economic realities" require two parents to work, ignoring the parents whose ideals lead them for forego economic gain for the sake of their families. I can appreciate, though, her rallying cry for better quality group care, as this is the type of care the most parents have no choice but to use.

This book can also get spectacularly boring and dry as it delves into the minutiae of every type of care imaginable. Great for people who have the patience for an enormous amount of facts and who plan to put their child in childcare after a short maternity leave, not so great and even demoralizing for everyone else.
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