Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 27, 1972 · Page 113
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August 27, 1972

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 113

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Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 27, 1972
Page:
Page 113
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Page 113 article text (OCR)

Mrs. Glaze drops off 3-year-old Andalena at 7:15 on way to work. psychologists has disclosed that working mothers are adversely affected by anxiety about their children. The cost to industry, in terms of lateness, absenteeism, and job turnover, has been alarming. The question that the Bell project tries to resolve is: will Sue Smith be less likely to lose time or quit altogether if her children are cared for by her employer? To help answer that question, Ohio Bell opened its experimental center in August, 1971, after 17 months of planning and research. The curriculum was designed by the company, in cooperation with the Learning Division of Singer Sewing Machines, which already operates 15 child care programs throughout the east. Singer owns the physical plant where the day care center is housed, and leases it to Bell. Singer also trains the teachers. Test group volunteers Basically, the experiment works as follows. Bell set up a volunteer test group of working mothers from different company levels, ranging from middle management to clerical employees. Their children, 50 in all, attend the center at a weekly cost to the parent of $15 for the first child and $10 for each additional child. (The fee .is tax-deductible.) In addition, the company organized a control group of working mothers whose children do not take part in the program. The job performances of the two groups will be compared after a 16-month period, ending in December, 1972. In evaluating the results, scientists will rely largely upon work charts and supervisors' ratings, supplemented by interviews with the participants. The idea is not only to measure objective factors such as absenteeism and output, but to delve into attitudes and morale. The program is more than just a baby-sitting operation. The youngsters, aged 2 to 6, receive instruction from licensed teachers, and the classrooms and playrooms are equipped with sophisticated learning devices. In addition to the familiar number and letter drills, teachers use moving picture blackboards and automated flash cards. Recently, Mary studied botany by examining leaves and flowers under a microscope ( while Rick watched a color film strip about bird nesting. 12-hour day The center opens at 6 in the morning, to accommodate early-shift workers, and closes at 6 in the evening. The teacher-student ratio of 1 to 7 compares favorably with the ratio at corporate day care projects elsewhere. So far, parents seem pleased with the program. At her previous job, Sue Smith left the children with her mother. "When I picked them up," she reports, "they seemed listless and bored, and Mary developed an eye twitch." Today, she says, the children are happier and the twitch is gone. Other parents agree. "It's better than keeping Diane home with my aging aunt and uncle," says one. 'There just wasn't enough mental or physical activity when Johnny was with the teenaged baby-sitter," explains another. "Lisa, who was shy and clinging, seems to have more initiative and self-sufficiency now," reports a third. The company is happy, too. It's too early, of course, to evaluate the results scientifically, but Ohio Bell President Fred Eckley declares: "Workers seem more content, and the center is having a positive effect upon the children." Prominent child care experts are a little more guarded in their responses. Pediatrician Benjamin Spock is "cautious about any system as untried as communes in the U.S." And while child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim thinks that "day care centers can do a vital job," he notes that many mothers resist them because "they can't bear admitting that their children can exist without them." Reducing guilt Other experts point out, however, that some mothers feel guilty about deriving financial and emotional rewards from their work while their children are left at home. Quality day care centers should help to reduce this guilt. And in Europe and England, studies show, many successful men and women didn't grow up under close maternal guidance, but were raised by "nannies" or governesses. One thing, at least, can be said already. "Ma" Bell is finally living up to her nickname. . Fastest Way We Know Jo Clear Away Ice And Snow! The Work-Saver. TheHeart-Saver. NEW JN INSTA-JET PROPANE FLAME GUN Him INSTANT ACTION lightweight, Easy- Handling An engineering marvel! $7.99 JN Insta-Jet Propane Flame Gun is loaded from handle to barrel with important years-ahead features. Features to be found in expensive kerosene guns and burners that sell for as much as $39.95. Like Tune-A- Flome that lets you dial precisely the right size flame for the job you want to do. 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