Early childhood programs in the USA have been characterized as fragmented. In recent times more integrated European models have been studied as lessons for the USA. The French system in particular has been held up as a model of high-quality service for families with particular relevance for US policy-makers. This article reviews the history of early childhood programs in the USA that included attempts to introduce the French model of daily group infant care as early as the 1850s. While the French approach inspired American programs at the time, group infant care developed in line with the dominant approach to charity and social welfare that viewed the family as having the first responsibility for child rearing barring exceptional circumstances.
To cite this article
LARRY PROCHNER (2003) The American Creche: 'Let's do what the French do, but do it our way', Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 4(3), 267-285. http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/ciec.2003.4.3.4