Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts

Colleen  Davis
“Fantasy Is Hardly an Escape from Reality. It Is a Way of Understanding It.” The Development of Childcare in the United States
Lloyd  Alexander
From the beginning of the late nineteenth century, until the present day, childcare methods in the United States have been progressively evolving. The questions of who cares for children, and how these children should be cared for have not only been the main factor in this evolution, but also a significant issue of controversy in the United States. This issue of childcare as well as the controversy involved has been recognized and answered by concerned Americans from the late 1800s through today in 2002. The answer Americans have proposed is the establishment of day care facilities. The idea of child day care centers as a method of primary childcare caused many relief and many apprehension. As day care centers were established over time, various procedures and regulations dealing with the learning environment, staff, management of the center, and licensing emerged. These elements involved with day care have altered from day care’s early beginnings in the nineteenth century, through the end of the twentieth century. Childhood can be a time of fantasy. Children use imagination in their lives, and continually incorporate the realities they must face, such as a day at the day care center.

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.” Lloyd Alexander, in all of his children’s novels, embodies the definition of imagination and fantasy. His characters face external pressures causing them to possess a desire to escape. Alexander creates this escape in each tale, whether it is to a far off land, or a highly imaginative dream, each character is temporarily released from unpleasant situations. Eventually, through the characters’s fantastic experiences, they do not escape their problems, but gain insight into their own unique challenges which they must surmount. Alexander creates a paradox between worlds that never existed, and the real world as a way to help others understand the realities of life, such as human emotions, conflicts, dilemmas, and relationships.

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