A brief history of federal financing for child care in the United States

Future Child. 1996 Summer-Fall;6(2):26-40.


Over the past 60 years, the federal government has provided funding for child care and early education programs in fits and starts. Funding has fluctuated in amount and purpose, with the result that today's child care financing system is a confused collection of funding streams with no uniform goals, standards, or administrative structure. This article traces the history of federal funding for child care and early education programs in the United States and examines how the values of American society have shaped the federal funding of child care and early education services.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Care / economics
  • Child Care / history*
  • Child Day Care Centers / economics
  • Child Day Care Centers / history
  • Early Intervention, Educational / economics
  • Early Intervention, Educational / history
  • Financing, Government / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Schools, Nursery / economics
  • Schools, Nursery / history
  • United States