Daycare in Literature pages:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1932
A Classic Science Fiction Novel
The portrait of the dehumanism implicit to non-family care--and its linkage
to other forms of human engineering--was most vivid in Aldous Huxley's 1932
dystopia*, Brave New World. The novelist
begins by describing a tour in the distant future of the Central London
Hatchery, where its director reminds the citizens "that in those [old] days
of gross viviparous** reproduction, children
were always brought up by their parents and not in State Conditioning
But the industrial organization of ... child rearing, the director states,
had liberated humankind...
In the nursery, "eighteen hundred bottles" simultaneously fed "eighteen
hundred carefully labeled infants" with "their pint of pasteurized external
*dystopia = an imaginary place where people lead
dehumanized and often fearful lives
** viviparous = producing living young instead of eggs
-- "The Fractured Dream of Social Parenting" by
Allan C. Carlson, page 5, Family Policy Review, Volume 1, Number 2,
Fall 2003 (The Child-Care 'Crisis' and Its Remedies)
Anthem by Ayn Rand, 1937
p20 A dystopian novella describing a world of absolute
collectivization, where language contains no singular pronouns...
We remember the Home of Infants where we lived till we were
five years old, together with all the children of the City who had been born
in the same year. The sleeping halls were clean and bare of all things save
one hundred beds.
Anthem by Ayn Rand, 1937, p41
Children are born each winter, but women never see their
children and children never know their parents.
Walden Two by B.F. Skinner ©1948, Chapter 12,
P86-87 & Chapter 13, p91
This novel describes a fictional utopian community designed around
behaviorist principles. One of its most controversial aspects is the
communal raising of children (daycare)…
"I hope Mr. Frazier has warned you," she said with a smile,
"that we're going to be rather impolite and give you only a glimpse of our
babies. We try to protect them from infection during the first year. It's
especially important when they are cared for as a group."
"What about the parents?" said Castle at once. "Don't parents see their
“Oh, yes, so long as they are in good health. Some parents…come around every
day or so, for at least a few minutes. They take the baby out for some
sunshine, or play with it in a play room."
She opened a door and allowed us to look into a small room, three walls of
which were lined with cubicles, each with a large glass window. Behind the
windows we could see babies of various ages…
"Looks like an aquarium," said Castle.
"And very precious fish they are," said Mrs. Nash, as if the comparison were
THE QUARTERS for children from one to three (the “Upper Nursery”) consisted
of several small playrooms with Lilliputian* furniture, a child's lavatory,
and a dressing and locker room. Several small sleeping rooms were operated
on the same principle as the baby-cubicles.
*Lilliputian = small or miniature, from the
imaginary country of Lilliput in Jonathan Swift's Book, Gulliver's Travels