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Day Nurseries

children, mothers, nursery and city

DAY NURSERIES, institutions for the care of those infants whose mothers' occupa tions oblige them to work away from home during the day. The movement originated in France under the leadership of Marbeau in 1844. A society was formed for the propaga tion and support of these nurseries, which was so successful in its efforts as to induce the municipal boards of charities to include these institutions in their programs. Some of the *creches,* as they are called in France, are still supported by private contribution. The movement was carried to Austria, Germany, Spain, Russia and other countries. In the first-mentioned countries, they became public institutions. In the United States, the first day nursery was founded in New York city in 1854. From insignificant beginnings, it grew to include a hospital, and changed its name to Nursery and Childs Hospital. Now nearly all of the larger cities of the country have such establishments, supported by private philanthropy. The Asso ciation of Day Nurseries of New York City was founded in 1897; and in 1898, the Na tional Federation of Day Nurseries held its first meeting at Chicago. In England, the British National Society of Day Nurseries was established in 1901.

The need for these foundations is increas ingly great with the more extensive occupation of women in industries. Children are generally

admitted between the ages of two months and six years. They are left there in the morning before the mother goes to work, and are called for on her return home in the evening. It is desirable that the nurseries be adequate in size for the neighborhood and well scattered throughout those portions of the city where social conditions'demand them, so as to render them readily accessible to the mothers. Plenty of air and light, spacious rooms and out-of door playgrounds are necessary requisites. The work of the nursery is primarily concerned with medical attention for the children en trusted to it; and with provision for food and occupation of those children during the day. The mothers also receive advice as to the care of the children. Ramifications of the work have carried the efforts of the day nursery into close touch with other social agencies. Kindergartens, lunchrooms for school children of working mothers, and playgroundi to keep these older children busy after school until the mothers return, have been added. A small fee is paid for the daily care of the child.