Everybody's Children: Child Care as a Public Problem

William T. Gormley, JR., Author Brookings Institution Press $42.95 (260p) ISBN 978-0-8157-3224-2
Gormley, winner of the Louis Brownlow Book Award for his 1989 Taming The Bureaucracy: Muscles, Prayers, and Other Strategies, offers a comprehensive but exceedingly dry view of contemporary American child care. His observations range from the obvious--``Demand for child care has grown dramatically in recent years.... As of 1990, only 46.3% of all children under the age of five were primarily cared for by a parent at home''--to a more helpful cost analysis of for-profit and nonprofit child-care options. His research is detailed and exhaustively documented; anecdotes are conspicuously absent. After several chapters establishing that a problem exists, Gormley suggests several reform options, noting that they are not mutually exclusive. First, he says, a ``mediating structures model'' relies on ``a caring community in which one person's problem is everyone's problem.'' Secondly, ``an informed consumer model supplies parents with enough good information.'' Then there's a ``safety net model seeks to protect children... through national government action.'' Any or all of these, Gormley claims, will govern child care in the 21st century. He may well be right, but his formal and arid approach to the topic is going to have the very people who need to read the book--the parents--forgetting where they put it the second they lay it down to tend to their children. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/1995
Release date: 08/01/1995
Paperback - 260 pages - 978-0-8157-3223-5
Ebook - 250 pages - 978-0-585-35758-4
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