The Attitude of Danish Mothers to Child Care, 1975 to 1979
With ever-increasing numbers of women entering the labor force, the question of who will care for the children becomes an important one, not only for the working mother, but for society as a whole. Different programs in various countries have been developed in response to the child care question. In Denmark, the answer has been to heavily subsidize outside forms of child care. Under the Danish system, parents pay only 20% to 25% of the actual operating costs. Because of this low expense, the number of children on the day care waiting lists is between 53,000 and 55,000, out of a population of 500,000 children less than 6 years of age. About 40% of all Danish children below school age are being cared for by people other than their parents in some form of public child care. Furthermore, the majority of these children come from families in which both parents live at home. For example, the results of a 1974 survey on the family background of kindergarten children show that only 16% are from one-parent families, whereas 82% are from families with married or cohabiting parents.1
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