Children First

Penelope Leach, Author
Penelope Leach, Author Alfred A. Knopf $22 (303p) ISBN 978-0-679-42133-7
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-679-75466-4
Hardcover - 978-0-517-17485-2
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-307-80337-5
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By Leach's estimate, rich Western nations spend more on beer and cigarettes than on controlling major childhood diseases or providing basic education for all children, family planning and maternity services. In a sane, compelling brief for society's most vulnerable and dependent citizens, this London-based child psychologist, author of the bestselling Your Baby & Child , argues for ``child-focused'' socioeconomic policies that address homelessness, poverty, schooling, daycare and parents' need to spend more time with their children. Such policies, she contends, are not only affordable but, in the long run, cost-effective. She urges employers to allow part-time or more flexible working hours for parents and advocates the creation of ``child-places,'' daycare centers in each community, run partly by parents and available to everyone. Both visionary and pragmatic, her thoughtful report--informed by comparisons of childrearing and public policies in the U.S., Britain, Sweden and Australia--is a constructive manifesto. 75,000 first printing; author tour. (Feb.)
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