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Negotiated Care: The Experience of Family Day Care Providers

Margaret Nelson

Publication Year: 2010

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. vii

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I have been lucky to have available a wide range of support services at Middlebury College. These include the willing and able assistance provided by Terry Plum in the Library, John Thompson-Rohrlich, Chip Winner, and Linda Knutson in the Computer Center, and Wayne Fazestskie, Beth Dow, and Ann Wheeler as departmental...

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pp. 3-18

Child care has recently evolved from a personal issue to a public problem. Popular and academic presses abound with overviews, policy statements, surveys of current arrangements, evaluations of different kinds of care, and advice to parents.1 In the last presidential election, candidates from both parties addressed this new political...

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Chapter 1: Family Day Care Providers and Their Work

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pp. 19-46

Two goals compete in this chapter: on the one hand, an attempt to describe the "typical" family day care provider; on the other hand an intent to indicate the individuality of women who do this work and the idiosyncratic features of their experiences. The case studies below consequently convey simultaneously a woman's uniqueness and what...

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Chapter 2: Relationships Between Mothers and Providers

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pp. 47-79

As more women enter the wage labor force, and more household tasks are transferred to the market economy, women purchase services that they previously supplied without pay ("out of love") in the home. The new service providers are often women as well and thus the relationships that develop between women who provide services and women...

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Chapter 3: Mothering Others' Children

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pp. 80-110

In seeking "homelike" care for their children, parents are attempting, among other things, to purchase for limited periods of time the relations that (ideally) characterize the home. Family day care providers participate willingly in this notion that homelike nurturance can be bought and sold. They too expect that they will be "like mothers" to...

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Chapter 4: Providers and Their Families

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pp. 111-150

In the previous chapters I examined dilemmas providers face in their relationships with "outsiders." Here we tum to issues that emerge in relationships between providers and members of their own families, as they transform the home into the site of paid work. In each set of relationships—with husbands, children, and members of the extended...

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Chapter 5: The Regulation Controversy

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pp. 151-178

Family day care providers remain in the domestic domain; they do not thereby achieve privacy. This style of child care is increasingly drawing public—and often critical—attention. Observers may be quick to ac knowledge that family day care providers can offer excellent substitute care; they also point to appallingly inadequate environments, and...

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Chapter 6: A "Deviant" Group: Professional Providers

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pp. 179-194

Professionalization represents another direction in which the activity of family day care could move. Ten of the seventy women interviewed for this study stand out from the majority of family day care providers because they say that they offer a "preschool program" in their homes.1 In linking their activities to those of early-childhood...

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Chapter 7: Turnover

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pp. 195-216

Family day care is a short-term occupation. The median tenure of a family day care provider is three years. Within one year, 30 percent of registered providers have left the field; within two years more than 50 percent are gone.1 While these figures might be lower than the turnover rates exhibited by center-based child-care workers, they are high...

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pp. 217-226

I have tried to make this book the provider's story, told in her words, and from her point of view. In the process I have learned that there is more than one provider's story. Although all women in family day care face similar structural conditions, they do not all experience their work in the same way. Whether because they have access to different...

Appendix A: Methodology

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pp. 227-232

Appendix B: Regulation of Family Day Care: Additional Information

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pp. 233-234


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pp. 235-276


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pp. 277-299


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pp. 301-305

E-ISBN-13: 9781439904060

Publication Year: 2010