Publication Date: April 13, 2007
Lack of access to affordable high-quality child care is frequently the tipping point that catapults a family into poverty, joblessness, and homelessness—a constant threat to the well-being of women and children. Polakow spent a year traveling around the country listening to low-income women from diverse backgrounds tell their stories of struggle, resilience, distress, and occasional success as they encountered ongoing child care crises. The resulting work is both a compelling account of the lived realities of the child care crisis, and an incisive critique of public policy that points to the United States as an outlier in the international community. Drawing on historical and international perspectives, Polakow creates a groundbreaking analysis of child care as a human right, persuasively arguing for a universal child care system.
Among the provocative issues the book addresses are:
Valerie Polakow is a professor of Educational Psychology and Early Childhood at Eastern Michigan University. She has written and edited numerous books, including Lives on the Edge and The Public Assault on America’s Children.
“Who Cares for Our Children? is one of the most disturbing books I have read in a long time. It should have a major impact on debates over poverty and social policy.”
—From the Foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
“In this beautifully written and provocative volume, Polakow deftly steps aside and lets real mothers, struggling against the odds to keep their families safe and sound, speak for themselves about what they need. This book delivers a timely message: Child care should be viewed as a human right.”
—Martha F. Davis, Northeastern University School of Law
“A collection of moving and often chilling personal narratives. . . . Who Cares for Our Children? is a powerful and well-documented analysis of the worlds of low-income families.”
—Beth Blue Swadener, Arizona State University
“Thoroughly researched and grounded in a heartfelt sympathy for the struggles of families…that face such painful choices and dilemmas in meeting the needs of their children.”
—James Garbarino, Loyola University Chicago