Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Child care—Occupation or profession: Searching for clarity


This paper describes the current tension between the perspectives of child care as occupation and child care as profession. The contrasting vocabularies employed and the place of child care in the organizational context are interrelated. The paper suggests that these perspectives reflect the unresolved ambiguities in the concrete status of child care workers in the human service enterprise.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth (BFC)Job Description: Child Care Worker. Canaan, N.Y.: (Mimeograph) The Center, 1980.

  2. Edleman, Murray.Political language. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1977.

  3. Klein, A.F.The professional child care worker. New York: Association Press, 1975.

  4. McKinney, J.C.Constructive typology and social theory. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1966.

  5. Piliavin, I. Conflicts between cottage parents and caseworkers.Social Service Review, 1963,37, 17–25.

  6. Weber, George.A theoretical study of the cottage parent position and cottage work situations. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1962.

  7. Webster's Third New International Dictionary. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam, 1961 (cited as Webster).

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Romolo Toigo.

Additional information

This paper was partially supported by the Conference-Research Sequence in Child Care Education, Grant #5 T24 MH 15869-02, awarded by the National Institute of Mental Health. The opinions are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Toigo, R. Child care—Occupation or profession: Searching for clarity. Child Youth Care Forum 10, 242–249 (1981).

Download citation


  • Social Psychology
  • Child Care
  • Human Service
  • Organizational Context
  • Concrete Status