Be All That We Can Be: Lessons from the Military for Improving Our Nations Child Care System.Reportar como inadecuado

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In response to increasing demands for military child care and lack of comprehensive care standards, the Military Child Care Act of 1989 (MCCA) mandated improvements in military child care. Today, the Department of Defense runs a model child care system serving over 200,000 children daily at over 300 locations worldwide. Noting that most of the problems characterizing military child care before the MCCA abound in non-military child care today, this report examines the specific ways in which the military made significant improvements in its child care system. The report describes the military's approach to improving quality, keeping care affordable to parents, and expanding availability. Following a brief look at military child care before the MCCA, the report discusses the following key lessons for civilian child care: (1) It is possible to take a woefully inadequate system and dramatically improve it over a relatively short period of time; (2) To achieve progress, it is necessary to acknowledge the seriousness of the problem and the consequences of inaction; (3) Improve quality by establishing and enforcing comprehensive standards, assisting providers in becoming accredited, and enhancing provider compensation and training; (4) Keep parent fees affordable through subsidies; (5) Expand the availability of all kinds of care by continually assessing unmet need and taking steps to address it; and (6) Commit the resources necessary to get the job done. The report concludes by asserting that the lessons from the military child care system's experience convey a hopeful message to those seeking to improve child care across the United States. (KB)

Descriptors: After School Programs, Change Strategies, Child Development Centers, Day Care, Elementary Education, Family Day Care, Military Organizations, Preschool Education, Program Descriptions, Program Improvement, School Age Day Care

National Women's Law Center, 11 Dupont Circle, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036 (first copy free, $5 each additional copies). Tel: 202-588-5180; Fax: 202-588-5185; Web site:

Autor: Campbell, Nancy Duff; Appelbaum, Judith C.; Martinson, Karin; Martin, Emily


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