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.
Tom Langford is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Calgary. His research focuses on globalization, labour, and the politics of early learning and child care.
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