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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Working Mothers and the Child Care Dilemma

A History of British Columbia’s Social Policy

During the twentieth century, child care policy in British Columbia matured in the shadow of a persistent political uneasiness with working motherhood. Charting the growth of the child care movement in this province, Working Mothers and the Child Care Dilemma examines how ideas about motherhood, paid work, and social welfare have influenced universal child care discussions and consistently pushed access to child care to the margins of BC’s social policy agenda. Lisa Pasolli also celebrates those who have lobbied for child care as part of women’s rights as workers, parents, and citizens.

282 pages

Table of Contents


1 “A proper independent spirit”: The Vancouver City Crèche, 1909–20

2 “Self help is to be encouraged to the fullest extent”: Working Mothers and the State in the Interwar Years

3 “It takes real mothers and real homes to make real children”: Child Care Debates during and after the Second World War

4 “The working mother is here to stay”: The Making of Provincial Child Care Policy in the 1960s

5 “Talkin’ Day Care Blues”: Feminist Child Care Battles in the 1960s and 1970s

6 “The feeling lingers that day care just isn’t nice”: Provincial and National Child Care Politics since the Mid-1970s


Notes; Bibliography; Index

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