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Working Mothers and the Child Care Dilemma


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Table of Contents

Introduction1 "A proper independent spirit": The Vancouver City Creche, 1909-202 "Self help is to be encouraged to the fullest extent": Working Mothers and the State in the Interwar Years3 "It takes real mothers and real homes to make real children": Child Care Debates during and after the Second World War4 "The working mother is here to stay": The Making of Provincial Child Care Policy in the 1960s5 "Talkin' Day Care Blues": Feminist Child Care Battles in the 1960s and 1970s6 "The feeling lingers that day care just isn't nice": Provincial and National Child Care Politics since the Mid-1970sConclusionNotes; Bibliography; Index

Promotional Information

How have persistent notions of what motherhood should be obstructed the creation of progressive child care policy in British Columbia?

About the Author

Lisa Pasolli is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies at Trent University. She researches the history of child care, social welfare, and women and gender in twentieth-century Canada. Her work has been published in BC Studies and Acadiensis.


Reading Pasolli's extensively documented book is a sobering exploration of twentieth and twenty-first century policies guided by familiar rhetoric about why mothers partnered with male breadwinners should not work and why mothers without breadwinners should work (in low-wage jobs) to redeem themselves ... In the end, Pasolli's history of childcare policy in British Columbia tells us that out-of-home childcare is a radical claim that requires a paradigmatic shift in thinking about working mothers and the ''contested nature of social citizenship.''

-- Rachel Langford, Ryerson University * Pacific Historical Review *

Much more than connecting the chronological dots (which is itself an important achievement), Pasolli provides an analytical explanation for the rather discouraging continuities that shaped decades of public debate and marginalized the childcare and employment needs of women and families ... A smart book on an issue we continue to wrestle with, and the sole monograph on the topic from a historian's perspective, it will find its way on to many bookshelves.

-- Esyllt W. Jones, University of Manitoba * BC Studies *
To assemble this impeccable book, Lisa Pasolli has formulated impressive questions ... Readers ... will be interested to discover how contemporary debates over the importance of early education, and over the educational disadvantages of parents and workers who bore the consequences of the deficiencies of child care, became part and parcel of The Child Care Dilemma. -- Dominique Marshall, Carleton University * Historical Studies in Education *

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