View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

.andards for
D a y Care of Children
of W orking Mothers



"hildren in Wartime No. 3


eau Publication 284

lien’s Bureau
:ted States Department of Labor

L I B R A R- 1 ¥
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

urai & r eoienloa! f ^ t a o f lt w

I yli-i
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Frances Perkins, Secretary



Katharine F. Lenroot, Chief

Standards for
D a y Care of Children of
Working Mothers

Report of the Subcommittee on Standards and
Services for D a y C a re A u th o rize d by the
Children’s Bureau Conference on D a y Care of
Children of W orking Mothers

February 1942

Children in W artim e No. 3
Bureau Publication 2 8 4

United States Government Printing O ffice, Washington : 1942
For sale by the Superintendent o f D ocum ents, W ashington, D . C .
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Price 10 cents
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

P a ge

I ntroduction__________
Standards for D ay C are of C hildren of W orking
M others______________________________________________


Group care_______________________________
For children 2 to 5 years of age___________ ________
For children 6 to 11years of age____________________
For children 12 to 16 years of age___________________
Homemaker service____________________________________
Foster-family day care________________________________


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


The Children’s Bureau, recognizing the urgent need for protecting
children whose mothers are being drawn into employment as a result
of the defense program, called a conference in Washington, July 31
and August 1, 1941, to discuss immediate steps to be taken to assure
adequate day care for children of working mothers.
Among the committees appointed at this conference was the Com­
mittee on Standards and Services for Day Care, which began delibera­
tions immediately to prepare a report, in October this group became
a subcommittee of the permanent Advisory Committee to the Chil­
dren’s Bureau on Day Care of Children of Working Mothers.
The following report, submitted to the Children’s Bureau in
February 1942, comprises the recommendations of the Subcommittee
on Standards and Services for Day Care of the Children’s Bureau
Advisory Committee on Children in Wartime.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Subcommittee on Standards and Services for Day Care
A bigail A. E liot, Chairman
Director, N ursery Training School o f Boston, Boston, M ass.

C. A. A ldrich, M. D.,
Professor of Pediatrics, North­
western University Medical
School, Winnetka, III.
K atherine B ain , M. D.,
Director, Division of Research
in Child Development, Chil­
dren’s Bureau, United States
Department of Labor, Wash­
ington, D. C.
M ary L. B ogue,

Madison, Conn.
A lice T. D ashiell,

Executive Secretary, Franklin
Day Nursery, Philadelphia,
B ess G oodykoontz,

Assistant Commissioner, Of­
fice of Education, Federal
Security Agency, Washing­
ton, D. C.
H oward H opkirk,

Executive Director, Child Wel­
fare League of America,
New York, N. Y.
G race L angdon,

Specialist, Family Life Educa­
tion, Work Projects Admin­
istration, Federal Works
Agency, Washington, D. C.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

M aud M orlock,

Consultant in Social Services,
Social Service Division,
Children’s Bureau, United
States Department of Labor,
Washington, D. C.
F rances Preston,

Home Economist, Institute of
Family Service, The Asso­
ciated Charities, Cleveland,
G race A. R eeder,

Director, Bureau o f C h ild
Welfare, State Department
of Social Welfare, Albany,
N . Y.
H elen R owe ,

Consultant in Group Work,
Child Guidance Division,
Children’s Bureau, United
States Department of Labor,
Washington, D. C.
L ouise Stanley ,

Chief, Bureau of Home Eco­
nomics, United States De­
partment of Agriculture,
Washington, D . C.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

In the recommendations 1 adopted by the Conference on Day Care
of Children of Working Mothers held July 31 and August 1, 1941, it
was said that, although women are needed as an essential part of the
defense program and it is a public responsibility to provide appro­
priate care of children while mothers are at work, it should be em­
phasized that mothers who remain at home to provide care for children
are performing an essential patriotic service in the defense program.
The Subcommittee on Standards and Services for Day Care wishes
to reemphasize this point. Home life is essential to the best develop­
ment of children. If mothers must work outside the home, special
plans must be made to preserve the important elements of parentchild relationships and family life during the hours when the family
can be together, and during the hours when the mother is working the
children must be given care which supplements that given at home and
which rounds out the plan for an appropriate 24-hour day for the child.
The following standards apply to day care of children of various
ages for whatever reason it is provided, but for the immediate purpose
of the committee they are designed specifically for the care of children
whose mothers are employed in occupations related to national defense.
The committee is unanimous in its belief that mothers of preschool
children and especially of those under 2 years of age should not be
encouraged to seek employment; children of these ages should in
general be cared for by their mothers in their homes. It believes
also that when mothers go to work there is an obligation on the part
of the community to help parents plan for the care of their children
in such a way that the children shall gain and not lose by the experi­
ence. For this reason the standards given in this report are not just
for custodial care, but include suggestions for acceptable standards of
health supervision, educational opportunity, and social service. The
committee believes that the standards here set forth are not only
desirable standards for day care of children, whether public or private,
free or pay, all-day or part-day, under home, school, public-health,
or social-service auspices, but are also possible standards for the
services that should be set up in defense areas. They are not intended
to be “ minimum” in the sense that every item must be accepted in
order to guard the children from harm; they are meant to be standards
1 Proceedings of Conference on D a y Care of Children of W orking Mothers, p. 74, Children’s Bureau
Publication N o. 281. W ashington, 1942.
451483°—42----- 2
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis




of “ good” care that the committee believes can and should be approxi­
mated in nearly all situations where day care is needed.
The committee believes also that State and local governments
should assume responsibility for maintaining standards of day care
and that the supervision of agencies and individuals giving this care
should be considered an important function of government. There
should be State supervision 2 of all forms of day care for children,
either in a group or in family homes where board is paid. This may
be accomplished through a system of licensing by the appropriate
State agency,3 accompanied by constructive service that includes
participation of the agencies concerned in the development of policies
and standards. .
The standards given are for a variety of types of day care. If it
is necessary to provide for children under 2 years of age provision
should be made for care in the children’s own homes through super­
vised homemaker service or in carefully selected and supervised foster
homes. Infants should not be cared for in groups. For preschool
children, care should be provided, either in groups or in foster homes
or in their own homes by supervised homemakers, during the whole
time the mother is away from home because of employment. Care
of younger school children should cover the tune when they cannot
be in school or at home, and during these hours someone should be
responsible for them. Care for older school children should provide
recreation and guidance during out-of-school hours. The standards
given for homemaker service and foster-family day care apply to all
ages of children; the standards for group care are divided into different
age levels according to the developmental needs of the children.
The age limits specified for these levels are meant to be approximate.
In any given situation the division would vary according to the
practical situation and the needs of the particular children in the
group. In this matter, as in others* the committee has intended the
standards to be regarded as flexible, not fixed; it has tried to indicate
broadly, though in some detail, what should be done for children of
various ages.
Throughout the report the committee has undertaken to set forth
the functions that should be performed, the services that should be
rendered. It believes that many of the details as to how these should
be provided must be left to the local situation. Communities vary
so widely in their resources of buildings, playgrounds, equipment,
personnel, and health and social agencies that exact directions cannot
be given. The report is therefore a functional one. It is also, the
s In lieu of effective State supervision it m ay be possible in some instances to provide adequate supervision
under local authorities.
s The Children’s Bureau will furnish material on the scope and methods of State supervision b y the
department of welfare or the health department.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



committee hopes, couched in language that contains few technical
terms. Public health, education, social service, all have much to
contribute to the day care of children; but the care of a child should
be unified. The committee has therefore attempted to unify the
contributions of these three fields and to state simply but adequately
what should be done.
The parents’ part in planning for the care of their children and for
continuing responsibility is included in the report, but no mention
has been made of their financial contribution toward its cost. The
committee believes that parents will want to pay what they can.
Whatever plans are worked out by each community must allow for
widely differing contributions, varying with the financial resources
of the families and safeguarding the interests of those unable to pay.
The amount paid will differ, in some cases coming close to the total
cost of care, in others amounting to very little. How much parents
are to pay should be decided after consultation between the parents
and the workers representing the agency responsible for the care the
child receives.
The committee has also omitted from the report any mention of
personnel practices. It believes that working conditions should be
such that the workers’ physical and mental health would be safe­
guarded and that there should be ample opportunity for personal and
professional development. „ Standards for salaries, hours, vacations,
medical examinations, and so forth, should conform to standards for
similar types of work in the local community.
In order to meet adequately all its needs for day care, a community
must be resourceful in its planning. Much could be done, for instance,
about cooperative projects under adequate supervision. There
should be a new approach to foster-family day care, and in this field
the possibility of a cooperative type of foster care should be explored.
Varieties of care which have been developed under organized auspices
and which the committee considered in detail are (1) group care,
(2) supervised homemaker service, (3) foster-family day care.
Each community will plan for day care according to its own needs
and resources. Extent of the program, types of service to be included,
auspices under which each is to be conducted, financing, supervision,
cooperation of various agencies, must all be worked out locally with
the cooperation of State agencies. Central in such planning should
be the well-being of children. For the sake of their development as
persons and as future citizens, the essential elements of home relation­
ships must be kept and the child cared for and guided as an individual
during the hours when he is away from home.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Standards for Day Care of Children of
Working Mothers
Any program for day care of children should provide—
1. Care and guidance that the mother would give if she were
with the child.
2. Activities that are of value to the child in his growth and
3. A relationship with parents that involves their continuous
initiative and participation in making and carrying out
plans for the child.
Because group care is the method that probably will be most used
in emergency conditions, the standards are given in considerable
In order to provide an adequate program for group care of children
over 2 years of age and insure the essentials of care and guidance,
suitable activities, and parent participation, it is necessary to have—



A staff sufficient in number, and qualified physically and
in personality as well as by training and experience, to
care for children and to perform certain specialized tasks.
A program of activities that provides for adequate service
to children and parents and insures that the group shall
perform its function in the total community plan for day
A plant and equipment that are safe and that are suitable
for the carrying out of an adequate program of activities.

Since children of different ages have different needs and require
different types of care, they should be divided into groups according to
age, and the program adjusted to the age range served. The follow­
ing divisions are suggested:
1. Children 2 to 5 years of age.
2. Children 6 to 11 years of age.
3. Children 12 to 16 years of age.
The children in the preschool group require a more elaborate
program of care because a larger proportion of their needs must be
met in the group than those of any other age. Since many of the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



developmental needs of school-age children are met in the schools,
programs for day care of children of this age are supplementary but
should provide for supervision of the children out of school hours until
they can return to their homes. Children 12 to 16 can assume much
of the responsibility for themselves out of school hours, if there are
proper community facilities, including provision for recreation and
guidance. The standards given for the older age groups necessarily
repeat much that is said for the younger groups. It has seemed wise
to do this in order to make the picture complete.
Group care for children 2 to 5 years of age
The standards described below would apply to day nurseries,
nursery schools, kindergartens, child-care centers, play groups, or any
form of group care for preschool children. Whatever form of care is
given should be based upon principles that will insure its value to
For this type of care there should be—
I. A staff that includes—
A . A director or a person in charge of a group (not more than 30 chil­
dren) who has the personality, training, and experience that enable
1. To understand what can be expected of children at the differ­
ent age levels within the preschool period and to recognize
individual needs, physical, mental, and emotional.
2. To plan a program that will include the physical care as well
as the guidance needed by individual children and that at
the same time will offer opportunities for the development
of the group.
3. To offer opportunities to the children for music, conversation,
poetry, stories, work with materials, group play, etc.
4. To provide wise discipline. This implies an adult-child rela­
tionship including warmth and affection as well as firmness
and consistency.
5. To consider the varying home backgrounds of the children and
to work closely with the parents.
6. To recognize family needs and to help the parents find ways to
meet them in cooperation with other agencies,
7. To understand any emergency conditions under which the
children may be living and to adapt the program to fit these
8. To fit the activity of the group into the program, regulations,
etc., of the organization with which it is connected and into
the community program of which it is a part.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



In order to perform these functions the person in charge of the
group usually should have—
Experience with young children and an interest in children
as developing personalities.
Training in the fields of nursery-kindergarten education,
child psychology, physical and mental growth and develop­
ment, nutrition, physical and mental hygiene, parent
education, and understanding of family needs and relation­
ships and of community resources and their use.
Such administrative and supervisory ability as is necessary
in the situation in which she will work.
B. Additional personnel—
1. For the care and guidance of the children so that—
a. Children are never left without supervision by some
responsible adult.
b. Time can be allowed for children to learn to do things for
c. An atmosphere of ease and freedom from tension can be
d. Spontaneous activities of the children can be carried out
and given the guidance needed.
e. Any emergency situation can be handled adequately.
In order to insure such care, there should be at least 1
adult to 10 children, with a minimum of 2 adults for any
group however small. Such persons should have some knowl­
edge of child care and training and a genuine liking for
2. For housekeeping and maintenance so that—
a. Meals are properly planned, prepared, and served.
b. The plant is maintained in safe and sanitary condition.
c. Equipment is kept in good condition and appropriately
The personnel to meet these standards will vary. In some
situations service will be supplied from the organization of
which the group is a part. In a self-contained unit there
will usually be required a cook (and a cook’s helper, if there
are more than 30 children) and a janitor.
3. For carrying on those parts of the health program that require
specially trained personnel, such as physician or nurse.
These technical aspects of the health program will be per­
formed by different means in different places. In some a
physician and a nurse will be members of the staff. In others
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



health services will be provided by the families’ own physi­
cians, by a public-health unit, or by some other health
4. For making decisions in regard to admission, for family
counseling, for continuing contacts with parents, and for
community integration.
These services may be performed in a variety of ways. In
some cases community-wide counseling services will be
available as part of the general day-care program of the com­
munity. In other cases counseling services may be attached
to individual centers as part of their over-all and continuous
social service to families. In still others some social agency
or the school visiting teacher may furnish such service. In
all instances the person directly in charge of the children
should be able by virtue of her training and experience to
maintain a desirable relationship with parents and with the
5. For handling administrative detail, so that time that should
go to the children shall not be usurped by such tasks.
In some instances a clerk or secretary will be needed. In
other situations clerical work will be divided among the staff.
If the person in charge of the group has to perform detailed
administrative duties she should have sufficient trained
teachers so that neither the children nor the parents are
II. A program that includes—
A . A schedule of daily activities so planned that—
1. There is reasonable regularity with a similar sequence of
events for the children from day to day, that is, regular
daily provision for play, eating, sleeping, toileting, washing,
2. The children’s physical needs are adequately cared for.
3. There is time for a variety of free spontaneous activity by
the children in active play, with materials, music, stories,
nature, etc.
4. There is time allowed for the children to do things for them­
selves and to take responsibility for their own care as they
are able.
5. There is ample outdoor activity, the amount depending on
weather conditions.
6. There is opportunity for the children to play alone or with
other children and to work out good social relationships on
their own level.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



7. There can be changes in the order of events or in the time
given to them.
8. The members of the staff are able to guide the children well
in learning good habits, useful skills, wholesome attitudes.
9. The appropriate members of the staff can consult with the
parents individually or in groups.
10. Necessary administrative details can be cared for without
neglect of children or parents.
11. The appropriate staff members can take part in general com­
munity planning for day care of children.
12. The details of keeping the plant and equipment clean and in
order can be carried on without endangering the children’ s
health or safety or undesirably interfering with their ac­
B. Provision for health care. This should include—
1. Measures for prevention of communicable disease and acci­
dents, and attention to correction of remediable difficulties:
a. Physical examination by a competent physician, prefer­
ably with at least one parent present. This should be
before admission and should be repeated at regular
b. Immunization against smallpox and diphtheria and
against other diseases as indicated.
c. Daily inspection by nurse or other qualified person before
child enters group.
No child who is ill or suspected of being ill should be per­
mitted to come in contact with the other children. In order
to be sure that each child is in condition to be with the group
he should be inspected individually each day before he enters
the group. If the children are transported in a group, this
inspection should be provided before the children enter the
d. Provision for emergency first aid.
e. Prompt isolation of any child showing signs of illness until
arrangements can be made to send him home.1
/ . Provision for correction of defects and for medical care of
children, through the family physician or through some
health agency.
g. Provision for examination of staff members, so that only
those persons known to be free from communicable
disease shall care for the children or their food.
i I f there are children from homes that are not open during the time the child is in the group, some pro­
vision should be made for care of sick children away from the group.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



2. Provision for proper nutrition:
a. Adequate food for the meals eaten at school, so that the
amount of food that the child eats each day conforms
as nearly as possible to the recommended daily allow­
ances as set up by the Committee on Food and Nutri­
tion of the National Research Council.
b. Careful preparation and care of food.
c. Spacing of mealtimes, so that in the 24 hours there are no
unduly long periods without food.
3. Provision for adequate daily rest:
а. A daytime nap of 1 to 2 hours under conditions conducive
to sleep—proper clothing and covering, quiet, ventila­
tion, etc.
б. In accordance with the child’s needs, additional short rest
periods lying on cots.
4. Play suited to the stage of development of the children, as
outlined under schedule of daily activities.
5. Attention to physical care, as outlined under schedule of daily
C. Provision for active relationship between parents and the program of
group care and guidance. This should include—
1. Initial and continuing parent consultation concerning the needs
of individual children and of families and the extent to which
these needs can be met at home, in the group, or through
other sources.
2. Planning so that parents can become familiar with the group
program, through observation or discussion with staff mem­
bers, or sometimes active participation in the day’s activities.
3. Providing such individual consultation or group meetings for
parents as they may wish, for discussion and for planning
for the care of their children and fulfillment of their family
D. Keeping of records needed to meet administrative requirements
and to insure knowledge of individual needs of children and families.
This should include—
1. Full names of both parents, name and date of birth of each
child in the family, family’s home address, work addresses,
and telephone numbers, and such other information con­
cerning the family as is appropriate for the type of care be­
ing provided.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



2. Date wlien each child enters group and date when each leaves.
3. Accurate records of daily attendance of each child, including
reason for absence.
4. Careful record of all physical examinations and of other mat­
ters relating to each child’s health.
5. Record of the progress of each child, to serve as a guide for
planning to meet his needs. This record may be a simple
card file in which the staff keeps appropriate notes. When
specialized members of the staff are employed, the records
may include greater detail in regard to the child’s physical
and mental development, interviews with parents, and
cooperation with other agencies.
6. Some kind of daily report (not necessarily written) to parents,
on food served, rest taken, bowel movement, and any un­
usual behavior.
7. Necessary bookkeeping records.
III. A plant and equipment that include—

Plant conforming to the following specifications:
1. L ocation.— In a safe and convenient place. This will be—
a. Usually on ground or first floor.2
b. Never above second floor unless in completely fireproof
c. Never in a basement room more than 3 feet below surface.
Floor must be damp-proof.
2. Safety and sanitation.— Conforming to State and local
building, sanitation, and fire laws. If these are inadequate,
safe standards should be maintained by the group.
3. C onstruction.— Building should be so constructed that it is
dry; that windows and doors, stoves and pipes, are pro­
tected; that screening is provided in the fly season; and that
the floor is free from splinters, is easily cleaned, and is warm.
4. Play space;— Such space (indoors and outdoors) as allows
children to carry on the activities suitable to their stage of
development in all types of weather, without being in each
other’s way or being constantly forced into crowded groups.
This will usually require—
a. Indoors: 35 square feet of floor space per child exclusive
of halls, baths, and kitchens.

* If above first floor, elevator service should be provided unless playground is a roof easily accessible.
8 If second floor of nonfireproof building is used, adequate protection must be provided b y sufficient usable
fire escapes, satisfactory fire drills, etc.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



b. Outdoors:
(1) A minimum of 75 square feet per child.
(2) Both shade and sunshine available during part of
morning and afternoon.
(3) Surface such that at least part can be used in wet
(4) Adequate protection from hazards, such as traffic,
dangerous playthings, etc.
5. L ight and ventilation .— In order to have sufficient light, air,
and ventilation, it is necessary to have—
a. Ratio of glass area to floor area at least 1 to 4.4
b. Rooms that do not require artificial light except occasion­
ally. Provision for artificial lighting when necessary.
c. Provision for ventilation by either an adequate mechanical
system or windows that can be opened at the top.
d. 300 cubic feet of air space per child indoors.
6. T emperature.— It is desirable to maintain as even a tem­
perature as possible. To insure this there should be—
a. A method of heating that provides a temperature of ap­
proximately 70° F. at a point 24 inches from floor, in
climates where heating is necessary.
b. Provision where possible for keeping the room cool in
extremely hot weather. This may be done in a variety
of ways, such as by insulation, cross-ventilation, etc.
7. A rrangement of rooms.

a. Playrooms: Preferably two, so that children of 2 or 3
years will not be expected to play continuously in a
group that includes 5-year-olds. If only one playroom
is available, separation of children into groups can be
accomplished by a partition or screens. Separate space
in playgrounds is also desirable.
b. Toilet and washrooms: Easily accessible to playrooms
and playground, and large enough so that children can
take care of themselves under adequate adult super­
c. Kitchen: Large enough to give adequate space for cook­
ing, refrigeration, storage, and dishwashing.
d. Locker space: Large enough for each child’s clothing to
be hung in separate, partitioned compartments.
1 In warm climates the openings should be larger and need not be supplied with glass.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis





Special space: It is important to arrange special space for
morning inspection and physical examination of the
children, for isolation of a child who is ill, for staff rest
and toilet rooms, for record files, for use by parents.
Equipment. Equipment should be safe, accessible to the children,
and should allow for activities appropriate to the stage of devel­
opment of the children.
1. Play equipment.
a. Should be so constructed that there are no sharp, rough,
loose, or pointed parts that might injure the children
in play. Paint should be lead-free.
b. Should include—
(1) Materials both indoors and out that allow for largemuscle activity, such as swings, boards, boxes,
kegs, something to climb, things that can be
pushed and pulled.
(2) Raw materials that can be manipulated and experi­
mented with and used for creative activity, such
as sand, stones, clay, paints, paper, blocks.
(3) Things with which common daily activities can
be played out and by which children can get
acquainted with the world around them and learn
to play together, such as dolls, dishes, housekeep­
ing equipment, toy furniture, pieces of cloth,
trains, airplanes, gardening tools, toy animals.
(4) Material for esthetic experience and enjoyment,
such as books, pictures, music.
(5) Pets that can be played with and cared for.
c. Should be stored in such a way that the child can select
his play materials and can put them away when finished.
2. E quipment for routine procedures.

a. Eating: Provision should be made for comfort during
meals and for development of good food habits. This
(1) Tables and chairs of proper height and size. Feet
should rest on the floor.
(2) Adequate eating equipment that the child can han­
dle easily.
b. Sleeping (if time spent in group is longer than 3 hours):
There should be space and equipment so that each
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



child can secure adequate rest and develop good sleep
habits. This means—
(1) A washable cot for each child.
(2) Sleeping garments (parents often supply these).
(3) Individual sheets.
(4) Individual, and adequate, covers when covers are
(5) Sanitary storage space for cots and equipment, if a
separate sleeping room is not provided.
(6) Space to allow at least 2 feet on all sides of cot
except where it is in contact with wall.


c. Toileting:
(1) There should be a minimum of 1 toilet to 10 children,
and 1 basin to 7 children.
(2) Toilets and basins should be of suitable height and
size, or so equipped as to be reached easily by the
(3) Toilet seats should be of open-front type if possible.
(4) Individual toilet articles and facilities for keeping
them separate should be provided.
d. Dressing: Space should be provided where the child can
learn to care for his own clothing. This requires—
(1) Hooks that he can reach.
(2) Partitions to keep clothing separate.
(3) Space enough to allow him to learn to manipulate
his outdoor clothing himself.
(4) Space for such additional clothing as is kept at
K itchen equipment.— Proper stove and other cooking equip­
ment should be provided. Sanitary arrangements such as
water supply and garbage disposal should be adequate.
Group care for children 6 to 11 years of age

Groups for children of this age range might be organized in connec­
tion with (1) schools, (2) day nurseries, (3) child-care centers, or (4)
settlement-house programs. Wherever possible these services should
utilize school buildings and facilities under a cooperative plan of
5 If flush toilets are not available, individual pots should be provided, or a split toilet seat over a chamber.
Washbasins m ay be used if plumbing is not available. There must be adequate provision for disposal of
waste after each using.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Essentials of such a service are—
I. A staff that includes—
A . A director or a person in charge of the group who has had such
training and experience as enable her—
1. To understand children of this age.
2. To recognize their individual and group needs.
3. To provide opportunities for constructive activities.
4. To safeguard and foster their physical and mental health and
5. To relate out-of-school program to the school and the home.
6. To guide the children in their social relationships.
7. To understand family needs and relationships.
Such a person should have—
A genuine interest in children.
Training, usually in the principles of child psychology and
education, physical and mental growth and development,
parent education, recreation, and social service.
Experience with children of this age.
B. Additional personnel—
1. For care of the children—
a. To provide leadership for activities and for special-interest
b. To provide appropriate activities for older boys and girls.
c. To provide for physical care and safety.
d. To prepare supplementary food when necessary.
The number of such personnel will depend on the size and
make-up of the group.
2. For making decisions in regard to including the child in the
group, for family counseling, for continuing contacts with
parents, for referral to other agencies, and for community
These services will be performed in a variety of ways, depending
on the local situation. In some cases community-wide counsel­
ing service will be available as part of a comprehensive commu­
nity program of day care. In other instances services may be
provided through the schools by visiting teachers. In others case
work may be available either from a special staff member or
through a cooperative arrangement with some social agency. In
other instances responsibility for the services will necessarily fall
upon the person in charge of the group.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



II. A program of activities that provides—
A . Play and such other occupations as hobby and interest clubs, arts,
crafts, dramatics, according to needs and interests of different
age groups.
B. Meals and rest to supplement those provided at school and at home,
when necessary.
C. First aid.
D. Medical supervision and care which the home and school do not
provide, through cooperation with other agencies.
E. Parent participation, with special emphasis on training in family
nutrition needs and leisure-time opportunities for families.
III. A plant and equipment that include—
A . Space and equipment which are assigned to this group and are
sufficient for various types of activities indoors and outdoors—
for art and craft work, reading, dramatics, hobby clubs, and
special-interest groups, for running and circle games, for base­
ball and other group activities requiring ample space, for swing­
ing, sliding, and wading, for handicraft, and for table games.
According to generally approved standards the amount of floor
space indoors is 35 square feet per child, and of outdoor play
space— which should be protected from traffic hazards and so
surfaced as to safeguard the children— 100 square feet per child.
B. Toilet facilities for the use of these children, separate from those
used by older or younger groups.
C. Rooms and equipment fo r adequate rest for children who need it.
D . Space and equipment fo r any supplementary food service that may
be necessary.
Group care for children 12 to 16 years of age
Group care for children of this age range is based on the utilization
to the fullest extent of the existing facilities for recreation, education,
health services, and social services. Schools, libraries, municipal
recreation departments, national-program agencies, settlements, State
and local park systems, little-theater groups, choral societies, churches,
and commercial recreation can be coordinated to give proper service
to children and youth. The services of these agencies must necessar­
ily be available to all children, but special attention and supervision
should be given to children whose mothers are employed.
Settlements or community centers in neighborhoods can assume
responsibility for after-school activities, but if they are not established,
school facilities can be utilized for neighborhood recreation and for
after-school activities of children.
Parents of children of this age should have counseling service avail
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



able for advice and help in planning for their children. This counsel­
ing service should be supplied by schools, settlement houses, or case­
work agencies and should be readily available to parents and youth.
I. The staff of settlements, school centers, and other agencies should
A . A director or a person in charge of this age group who has had
training and experience that enable her—
1. T o understand the problems of adolescents and to work with
2. To develop and coordinate a recreational and educational pro­
gram for adolescents.
3. To safeguard and foster health, physical and mental.
4. To relate recreational and educational programs to home and
5. To encourage youth to develop their own recreational pro­
6. To understand family needs.
Such a person should have—
Experience in education and recreation work with youth.
Training, usually in the principles of child psychology and edu­
cation, physical and mental growth and development, parent
education, recreation, and social service.
B. Additional personnel—
1. For recreation and education—
a. To provide leadership for activities,
groups, and educational forums.


h. To provide leadership for boys’ and girls’ groups and
athletic leagues.

To prepare noonday lunches and supplementary food when

The number of staff to be employed would depend on the num­
ber and age of the children and types of activity provided.
2. For counseling service for making decisions in regard to in­
cluding the child in the group, for family counseling, for indi­
vidualized youth guidance, for continuing contacts with parents,
for aiding them to utilize community resources, and for com­
munity integration. (See pp. 4 and 11.)
II. A program for youth, under competent leadership, would include—
A . Recreation and education:
1. Athletics, ranging from highly organized games of football
and baseball to individual sports such as swimming,
boating, tennis, lifesaving, hiking, and archery.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



2. Music, instrumental and choral.

Painting and sculpture.
Arts and crafts.
Dramatics, radio, and puppet shows.
Hobbies, such as photography, stamp collecting.

7. Dancing.
8. Nature study and trips.
9. Social affairs, such as parties, picnics, and boat trips.
10. Library and reading clubs.
11. Activities of Scouts, Campfire Girls, Y .M .C . A., Y .W .C .A .,
4-H Clubs.
12. Camping— summer, day, and week end.
13. Recreation and educational activities of churches.
B. Meals and rest to supplement those provided at school and at home,
when necessary.
C. First aid.
D. Medical supervision and care that the home and school do not
provide, in cooperation with other agencies.
E. Parent participation, with general emphasis on training in family
nutrition needs and leisure-time opportunities for families.
F. Individualized youth guidance and counseling service.
III. A plant and equipment would include—
A . Space and equipment that are assigned to this group and that are
sufficient for various types of activities both indoors and outdoors—
for art and craft work, reading, dramatics, hobby clubs, and
special-interest groups, for running and circle games, for baseball
and other group activities requiring ample space, for summer and
winter sports where possible, for handicraft, and for table games.
According to generally approved standards the amount of floor space
indoors is 35 square feet per child and for outdoor play space—
which should be protected from traffic hazards and so surfaced as
to safeguard the children— 100 square feet per child.
B. Toilet facilities for the use of this older group separate from those
used by younger groups.
C. Rooms and equipment jo r adequate rest for those who need it.
D. Rooms and rejerence books for school home-work study.
E. Space and equipment jo r any supplementary food service that may
be necessary.
Supervised homemaker service is care for the child in his own home.
This service makes it possible for the child to remain in known sur
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



roundings and gives him the satisfaction of being with his own family
Up to the present, supervised homemaker service has been used
largely by social agencies in homes of the lower-income group, where
the mother has died or is unable because of illness to carry on her
usual household responsibilities. It may be useful in other emer­
gencies, or in special instances for infants and young children whose
mothers must go to work. When for special reasons children will
not adapt readily to group care, and when their interests will be more
adequately met by care in their own homes, the services of a home­
maker may be desirable.
1. Administrative service should be provided by an alreadyestablished case-work agency that will provide service to the
family, supervision of the homemaker, and a training program
for her development.
2. The director of the service should be equipped through training
and experience to take responsibility for staff development
and give leadership to the program. The worker responsible
for the supervision of the homemaker should have skill, under­
standing, ability to work with adults and children of all ages,
and an appreciation of the family needs as a whole.
Conditions necessary for effective homemaker service.
If homemaker service is to be most effective there are certain min­
imum essentials:
1. The family requesting supervised homemaker service should
be given information regarding other community resources
for child care and should be helped to make a decision on the
plan of care best suited to the family’s needs. (See references
to counseling service, pp. 4 and 11.)
2. The worker from the supervising agency should be aware of
the personality and needs of each member of the family and
should make inquiry regarding the usual routine, food likes
and dislikes, and any special characteristics or habits of the
3. Housing and equipment should provide at least the minimum
essentials for healthy home living.
4. A family budget should be sufficient to provide good physical
care for the family, including an adequate diet.
5. Division of responsibility between the family members and
the homemaker should be clarified before placement.
6. Assignment of a homemaker to a family should be made in
relation to the needs of the family and the qualifications and
equipment of the homemaker.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



7. There should be recognition of the homemaker as a semiprofessional worker, and personnel practices (wages, hours,
continuity of service, etc.) should be such as to attract and
hold the services of competent women.
Qualifications of homemakers.
The homemaker’s task is a particularly difficult one because she
must give service in different types of homes and must perform a
variety of duties similar to that of the mother. She must often work
with children of all ages, and in an environment that is not her own,
where essential changes can be made only with the family’s willing
acceptance. In addition to the usual skills necessary for anyone
working with adults and children she should have—
1. Liking for children, knowledge of child care through experience
or training, and an attitude toward children that encourages
normal development.
2. Skill in securing the participation of others.
3. Ability to adjust quickly to different types of homes and situa­
tions and to assume varying degrees of responsibility, depend­
ing on the needs of the family.
4. Competence in performing household tasks, including manag­
ing on a limited income.
5. Good health, as shown by a preliminary health examination
followed by periodic health examinations.
After the initial placement of a homemaker in a family, continuous
service needs to be given by the agency making the placement. The
purpose of supervision is—
1. To assist the family in problems pertaining to the members
2. To assist the family in problems relating to their use of the
3. To assist the homemaker in her adjustment to the individual
As homemaker recruits are women who have had experience in care
of households and care of children but usually have had little formal
training in these fields, the training program is an essential part of
this service. Both the individual-conference method and the group
method are utilized. All technical language is avoided. Training is
usually concurrent with the job.
The objectives of the training program are—
1. Increased competence in performance of household tasks.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



2. Knowledge of simple nursing care of the sick and injured.
This is applied only under the close supervision of medical and
nursing authorities.
3. Emphasis on meal planning, marketing, and food preparation
in relation to nutritional needs and family income.
4. Increased understanding of people in order to give better
5. Help in meeting specific difficulties that arise in her service
to families.
Foster-family day care is care of the child in a family home other
than his own for part of the 24-hour day. This type of care is espe­
cially useful for children for whom group care is unsuitable, such as
infants, or older children who have certain physical, emotional, or
mental disabilities or for whom group care is not readily available. It
should be used as part of a community program that includes provi­
sion for counseling service to parents concerning problems arising
from the employment of the mother. (See pp. 4 and 11.)
Foster homes selected to provide day care should be as near as
possible to the parents’ place of residence so that the child will not
need to be taken long distances on crowded conveyances.
So far as possible, resources for day care in foster-family homes
should be developed by established social agencies in the community,
thus assuring an individualized placement service that aims to secure
the best possible care for the child and the fullest safeguards of the
family relationship. When an established agency provides the day­
care service it can insure specialized services, such as a continuing
health program and child-guidance service and an educational
program for foster mothers. Furthermore, in cases where the day­
care home does not have proper facilities for isolation of children a
special day-care home can be provided by the agency for use in
In order to provide proper safeguards for children in foster-family
care the following general standards are suggested.
I. Administering agency.
It is desirable that foster-family day care be a part of the service
of an established children’s agency. This service should—
1. Have a staff adequate in number, training, and experience.
2. Adhere to good standards of social case work.
3. Have small case loads, permitting careful work with the indi­
vidual child.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



4. Use effective home-finding methods.
5. Select homes adapted to the needs of individual children.
6. Provide adequate supervision that will—
a. Help the child to develop normally.
b. Help the parents in their understanding of their child.
c. Give the foster parents continuing help in meeting the
needs of individual children.
d. Assist the foster parents in learning good standards of
child care.
7. Have facilities available for professional observation and
study of children.
8. Provide, or have access to, preventive and corrective health
9. Maintain adequate individual case records.
II. Foster-family day-care mother and her household.
1. The home should be one in which the members are in good phys­
ical and mental health and the relationships among them such as to
assure a good atmosphere for the child.
2. It is preferable to use homes where the amount paid will add to
a subsistence income for the family. Otherwise the basic needs of the
household will at times require funds that should be devoted to feed­
ing or otherwise providing for the needs of the children. Undue finan­
cial strain also will incline the day-care foster mother to receive more
children than she can properly serve. Motives of foster parents in
caring for children should be carefully considered.
3. The day-care mother should be of suitable age and temperament
to care for children. She should have a liking for children and an
understanding of their needs. She should be capable of handling an
emergency situation promptly and intelligently.
4. The day-care mother should be in good health and have no dis­
qualifying mental or physical handicap. She should have had a recent
physical examination (by her family physician, a clinic, or a physician
provided by the agency operating the day-care program) and present
evidence that she is in good health and capable of caring for children.
5. The day-care mother should be willing to cooperate fully with
the child’s own parents and the supervising agency. The success of
this type of care depends largely on the cooperation between the parent
and the day-care mother. It is important that they exchange infor­
mation about the child and plan together so that all his needs may be
met so far as possible, and that there may be continuity and consis­
tency in the management of the child.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



III. Dwelling, equipment, and surroundings.
1. The dwelling should conform to State and local fire and sanitary
2. No room used for the care of children should be located so that
the floor is below the street level. All rooms used for children should
have an adequate amount of sunlight.
3. Heating, ventilating, and lighting facilities should be adequate
to protect the health of the children. During the winter months, a
temperature of 70° F. should be maintained in all rooms occupied by
the children.
4. There should be an adequate supply of water of satisfactory
sanitary quality available for drinking and household use. Water
from springs, wells, or other private sources should be protected
against contamination. If at all questionable, water should be
tested by a qualified local or State official. There should be provision
for hot water for washing and bathing.
5. The dwelling should be effectively screened against flies and other
6. The dwelling and premises and the equipment should be kept
clean, sanitary, and in good repair and should provide for the reason­
able comfort and well-being of the household.
7. There should be proper provision for the care of perishable food,
and for refrigeration, especially of milk.
8. Sufficient clothing for the children should be provided by the
parents, so as to permit a change when necessary.
9. Individual beds or cots should be provided for all the children.
The beds should be kept in a clean and sanitary condition at all times,
and bedding should be adequate and suitable to the season.
10. An adequate supply of safe play materials and equipment suit­
able to the ages of the children should be available for both indoor
and outdoor activities.
11. If more than one child is in the home the arrangement should be
such as to permit temporary isolation in case of illness.
12. A safe and sanitary outdoor play space should be provided, free
from conditions that may be dangerous to the life or health of the
children. If such play space is not on the premises, it should be easily
IV. Number of children.
The number and ages of the children that can be cared for in a home
depend upon the facilities and space in the home, the skill of the foster
mother in dealing with children of different ages and the amount of
time that she and other adults in the household can give to the chil
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



dren, and the community resources available for part-time supple­
mentary care.
V. Care of the children.
1. The children under care should never be left without competent
adult supervision.
2. Each child should have a physical examination before placement,
and evidence should be presented that he is free from communicable
disease at that time. He should be under continuing health super­
vision, with whatever medical and dental care his needs may require.
Emergency medical care should be readily available.
3. The child should be vaccinated before admission except in those
cases where a physician considers it inadvisable. If the child is over
6 months of age and has not been immunized against diphtheria, he
should have such immimization as soon as possible after admission.
4. Any child showing signs of illness should be isolated promptly
from the other children in the home until arrangements can be made
for his care.
5. The diet should be planned on the basis of knowledge of what
the child gets at home, so that his total food requirements shall be met.
6. There should be a planned daily routine to insure the develop­
ment of good health habits, adequate indoor and outdoor play, rest,
and sleep.
7. Adult supervision of children should be natural and free from
tension, and ordinary problems in child training should be handled
un derstandingly.
VI. Records.
Sufficient records (names, addresses, etc.) should be kept in the
foster home to identify the children and to enable the foster mother
to communicate with the parents either in their home or at their place
of employment, and, in an emergency, with a physician. If licensing
is required, a copy of the license should be kept in the home.
The agency supervising the home should keep complete case records.
VII. Independent day-care homes.
Independent day-care homes should be at all times under State or
local supervision as indicated on page VIII. Standards set forth in
III, IV, V, and VI should apply as closely as possible to independent
homes, and the relationship between the supervising authority and
the home should be comparable to that between an administering
agency and the day-care foster home. Records kept in an independent
home should contain more details than are specified in VI.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis