This is to express the appreciation that I and others of the “child care community” feel about the recent series of articles by Mike Granberry and Maggie Locke. I teach the course at San Diego State University in administration of early childhood programs, and I recognize that they did a superb job of sorting out the intricacies of the local scene. It has been of particular interest to my students, who see this sort of recognition as an indication that perhaps there really will be an improvement in funding sources so that they can earn a decent living in their chosen field.
My only concern is that day care homes were emphasized, but without a clear distinction in some of the writing about the differences between home-based care and that of centers with professional staffing. I am delighted to see how much some home care providers are doing to become professional. But after 40-plus years in the field, my preference remains with centers where children can have social experiences with friends of their choice and can enjoy the advantages of a professionally planned educational program.
For infants and toddlers, homes are fine--their own or others'--but not for the pre-kindergartners if they are normal and ready to function in group situations. For more than 100 years, preschools have been popular among families able to pay for them. We must develop an appreciation for their advantages as an appropriate environment in which young children develop optimally, and stop all this guilt tripping just because mothers are getting paid to work.
DOROTHY W. HEWES