First Advisor

Arthur Emlen

Term of Graduation

Spring 1974

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Day care centers -- Denmark, Day care centers -- Social aspects



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 142 pages)


A study of the social and cultural aspects of day care in Denmark. The thesis hypothesizes that experiences in the development of Danish day care are relevant to the future development of day care in the United States.

Interest in Danish day care was stimulated by the reports of Drs. Marsden and Mary Wagner (1970) which found Danish day care provided an intimate and innovative standard of care for young children.

Twenty centers of widely varied types were visited in Denmark. Information was gathered largely through unstructured interviews with child care staff and non-participant observation. Special attention was paid to the child care workers’ relationship with the children and their families.

Attention was focused on the influence of cultural factors in the provision of child care. It was found that cultural attitudes in Denmark toward children encouraged the development of a casual, intimate style of care.

It was noted that caution should be exercised in presuming that successful Danish programs would be equally successful if carried out in the United States. It was learned that empirical evidence has convinced the Danes that the provision of an acceptable level of care is costly and that national and local subsidy is essential. Further, the coordinated system of education child caring staff was found to provide staff capable of developing a stimulating relationship with children.

Current direction in Danish day care with other social service programs and the integration of age groups within centers with the attention of recreating the "family group".


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