With more parents in the work force today than ever before, child day care has become an essential element of family life. In the mid-1990s, over 60 percent of employed mothers with children under the age of six worked full time; over 20 percent of mothers in the work force were their family's sole wage earner; and over one million single fathers had children under the age of 18. More than half of all children under age six have parents in the work force, and the mothers of 54 percent of these children are working.This vital compendium makes it clear that comprehensive child care services are not only important to economic well being, but are a vital part of the continuum of child welfare as such. The purpose of child day care is to supplement and enhance the care, attention to developmental needs, and the protection that children receive from their parents. Child Day Care is an effort to define a nurturing environment that cultivates the physical, emotional, intellectual, and social potential of the child as it helps all family members pursue their own individual and collective goals.The fifteen essays in Child Day Care encompass these and other vital matters. Chapters linking child day care and child welfare, child poverty, welfare reform and training, are presented because they are timely and critical if child day care is to remain a viable service to support and strengthen families in an era of high participation in the working force. The effectiveness of specifically designed day care programs for specialized populations and purposes is discussed in several chapters. In addition, several others examine current theories and innovations that may change the future of child day care services_not only in the United States, but worldwide.As the editors make clear, all too often the goals of child day care are high, but the quality of the actual services provided are not. This cutting-edge volume seeks to redress this situation. Among the contributors are such well known figures as Sheila Kammerman, Alfred J. Kahn, Martha G. Roditti, Marcia K. Meyers, Barbara Fink, Diane Trister Dodge, and Richard Fiene.