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Demanding Child CareWomen's Activism and the Politics of Welfare, 1940-1971$
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Natalie M. Fousekis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036255

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036255.001.0001

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Postwar Hopes

Postwar Hopes

The Fight for Permanent Child Care, 1945–47

(p.39) 2 Postwar Hopes
Demanding Child Care

Natalie M. Fousekis

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the protests that erupted in California when the federal government threatened to close the Lanham Act centers and the broad-based coalition that pushed for a permanent program in California. That year, 1946, marked a moment of possibility for advocates of state-supported child care for working mothers. Many in the progressive coalition insisted that wartime child care should be the basis for a universal nursery school program on the state level. While these citizens saw child care as social service the government should provide, political leaders had a different view. In the eyes of most politicians, the centers represented a temporary service only for the state's neediest residents.

Keywords:   Lanham Act centers, permanent child care, state-supported child care, working mothers, wartime child care, nursery school

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