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Distributed for Athabasca University Press

Alberta’s Day Care Controversy

From 1908 to 2009 and Beyond

Day care in Alberta has had a remarkably durable history as a controversial issue. Since the late 1950s, disputes over day care programs, policies, and funding have been a recurring feature of political life in the province.

Alberta’s Day Care Controversy traces the development of day care policies and programs in Alberta, with particular emphasis on policy decisions and program initiatives that have provoked considerable debate and struggle among citizens. Langford brings to light the public controversies that occurred during the last four decades of the twentieth century and the first decade of the new millennium, placing contemporary issues in historical context and anticipating the elements of future policy struggles.


330 pages


Table of Contents

1        Introduction: Research Strategy, Themes And Scope

2        Early Efforts to Organize Day Nurseries: 1908-1945

3        The 1960s: Citizen Action, Civil Servants and Municipal Initiatives Lead the Way

4        The 1970s: Governments Fund High-Quality Day Cares as Preventive Social Services

5        Years of Turmoil, 1979-1982: a New System for Day Care Is Born

6        Corporatized Day Care Comes to Alberta

7        The Worlds of Commercial Day Care

8        Day Care in Question, 1984-1999

9        Five Cities Sustain Model Child Care in the 1980s

10      Large Cities Abandon Their Lighthouse Programs

11      Day Care into the Future: Trends, Patterns and Unresolved Issues

Appendix A     Supplementary Tables A.1 to A.6

Appendix B     List of Taped Interviews

References; Notes

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