Arguments for Nonparental Care for Children

Social Theory and Practice 37 (3):483-509 (2011)
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I review three existing arguments in favor of having some childcare done by nonparents and then I advance five arguments, most of them original, to the same conclusion. My arguments rely on the assumption that, no matter who provides it, childcare will inevitably go wrong at times. I discuss the importance of mitigating bad care, of teaching children how to enter caring relationships with people who are initially strangers to them, of addressing children's structural vulnerability to their caregivers, of helping children and parents contain the ambivalent feelings of the child-parent relationship, and of distributing the responsibility of care and the ensuing blame for bad care more widely. I conclude that nonparental childcare should be universal.
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