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Boards of Charities, this office, it would seem, might be performed by local visitors appointed by the boards, as is largely done in Ohio. In New York State, visitors appointed by the State Charities Aid Association in some counties have rendered valuable service of this kind. The co-operation of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children should also be secured, and the name and address of every child placed out given to such a society, in order that corrective remedies may be summarily applied in case of abuse. And above all, whether we have State systems, as in Michigan, county systems, as in Ohio, or rely solely upon the efforts of private benevolent corporations, we should in all cases have a State supervising system, as there lies at the foundation of all our work the State's interest in the development of the highest type of self-governing, free-born citizens.
THE SCOPE OF DAY NURSERY WORK.
BY MARY H. DEWEY, BOSTON.
The rapid migration and shifting of population from the country to the city, to say nothing of foreign immigration, has broken up the stability and support which come from family and neighborly relationships established upon the basis of permanent local interests ; and hard pressure has been put upon women and mothers by the large transfers of home industries to the factory, so that now they must go more and more from the home in case they are obliged to become wage-earners. The need of day nurseries has risen in this way; and this form of assistance, which a few years ago was looked upon as one of the outcroppings of sentimental charity, is now regarded by students of sociology as subserving the best interests of society. It only remains for the workers to build wisely.
We are not handicapped, as is much of our relief work, by the necessity of pulling down past traditions and practices.
The day nursery, in its simplest, earliest form, was a home where the child might be left during the day, in order to relieve the mother, without much question as to her real needs or whereabouts; and the
care given was of the simplest character. With the rapid development of interest in and reflection on all forms of charity which has taken place in the last thirty years, new questions have arisen in this field of work as in all others.
These questions particularly relate to: first, What children shall be admitted, and under what conditions? second, as to the internal. organization of the nursery and the advisability of complicating the simple home-life nursery with other interests of society, such as training schools for nurse-maids, etc.
Under the first question, of admission, some nurseries accept all children (who are physically proper applicants), without much question as to the real need and worthiness of the mothers and without much study as to whether this is the best form of relief that can be given, considering the permanent interests of each individual child and mother.
We find, however, some nurseries gradually restricting the privilege to the children of mothers who after careful investigation are found to be proper recipients of this form of charity. Both ideas and practices have much to be said in their favor, the first on the ground that, the greater the degradation of the home, the greater the need of the nursery training for the child, not only for the child's sake, but for the sake of the public, through the expectation that by the time this child has reached the age of compulsory attendance at the public schools it will have formed such habits of regularity and obedience that its next state will not be as an inmate of some truant or reform school, with years of full support and quasi-education in city institutions, together with all the dangers this means.
This idea has for its main object the education of such unfortunate children away from the low parental standards, and the testimony of our kindergarten teachers is a splendid indorsement of this branch of the work.
The second idea, on the point of admission that is of careful restriction— is an outgrowth of the feeling that to care for and nourish the child of unworthy parents (while at the same time allowing these parents to keep possession of their children and continue in their own evil ways) is to encourage such unworthiness in others who are only kept from the fall by a fear of the consequences.
Under this idea of a need of restriction, several careful systems of investigation and registration have been evolved; and a committee.
was appointed at the last Day Nursery Conference, held in Boston in March, 1897, to compare and work over the various systems of investigation and registration now in use, and present a form of registration card, which, it is hoped, will be adopted by all day nurseries in the country, thus placing the work on a foundation where questions. can be considered on a basis of facts.
Some of the facts to be recorded are first in regard to the parents and older children in the family: e.g., date and place of birth; physical condition; school; church; occupation; wages; habits; mental condition. Have any members of the immediate family ever been members of any institution? and, if so, give dates. Rooms; rent; landlord; debts; savings; average number of hours' work per week of mother away from home.
It can be easily seen that such facts are of equal value to all nurseries in helping them to shape their present work, as well as of value in the work of the future by furnishing a history of
In the question of internal organization the day nursery work in several parts of our country shows a tendency away from the simple home day nursery where the children are sent to the public school as from their own homes, and where the life is kept just as close to the custom and habits of the normal home life as is possible.
I regret that in some places the tendency seems to be toward complicating this simple form of nursery care with school training of its own and inside of its own walls, and with the idea of utilizing the children in the training schools for nurse-maids.
Let us learn from the experience of those in other lines of child work, where we see the workers struggling to throw off the curse of institutionalization from the children's lives; and let us not in these directions endanger the lives of our children whom we are striving to make simple normal boys and girls, as little removed from the children of their more fortunate neighbors as is possible.
Let us provide day nursery children with a simple, quiet, clean, non-uniformed day home, which shall have a home-like feeling for parents as well as children, and beyond this point let us crucify our ambition to have an institution which may shine to our own glorification, but in so doing dazzle and blind the eyes of the little ones whom we are trying to teach the way.
JEWISH CHILD-SAVING IN THE UNITED STATES.
BY MICHEL HEYMANN,
SUPERINTENDENT JEWISH ORPHANS' HOME, NEW ORLEANS.
After having tried in vain for several months to obtain complete statistics of expenditures by Jewish institutions and societies in the United States, with the number of children raised in each institution to date, the average cost per capita, and the results, I was compelled to abandon the effort as hopeless. This must therefore be understood to be but a partial review of Jewish child-saving in our country.
Most of the child-saving by the Jewish people is accomplished in orphan asylums, of which there are eleven. (See annexed table.) The smallest annual per capita cost of maintenance of orphans is at Cleveland, $113.29; the highest at Baltimore, $249.83. The average is $172.38. The Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum, San Francisco, reports that ninety-five per cent. of the children who have gone out from it are self-supporting. Most of the other institutions try their best to equip their children with some trade or profession before leaving their alma mater. The Cleveland institution has added a manual training school to its curriculum. The Jewish Foster Home, Philadelphia, indentures and apprentices as many of its wards as possible, thereby minimizing the evil of institutional life to some extent. The Jewish Home, New Orleans, imitates the example of these institutions; and its administrators hope in the near future to send out only children who are self-supporting.
New York, besides the 2,000 orphans raised in asylums, has many other child-saving institutions, not only for orphans, but for other children of poor parents. The Hebrew Technical Institute is one of the finest institutions in the country for the encouragement of mechanical work. It was opened in 1883, and has graduated (to 1896) 1,263 children, at an average cost of $85. The number of pupils at present is 190. The Baron de Hirsch Fund is doing good work in child-saving in large cities, especially in New York.
For the present it is impossible to introduce the boarding-out system for this class of children, although its superiority to institutional life is recognized by the majority of the friends of childsaving.
The Chicago Manual Training School, whose superintendent is Dr. G. Bamberger, comes closest to the ideal, not only of orphan education, but of education of the poor man's child throughout the land. This excellent school was opened in the slums of the West Side, October 19, 1890. The total number of children admitted since its foundation, is 3,200. The outlay for the support of the
school has been $140,000 in seven years. It has accomplished wonders. It has transformed the children of poor emigrants into industrious, self-supporting men and women, and, through the children, has reached the parents, whose lives have been elevated and consequently rendered more happy. Dr. Bamberger is recognized by all friends of public education as one of the pioneers of the "New Education," started by Froebel and Pestalozzi in the kindergartens, whose aim is to develop the hand, head, and heart simultaneously. The manual training school in Chicago is, for me, the