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Daycare in the early Kibbutzim
(collective Jewish pioneering settlements in Palestine -- modern-day Israel)

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Kibbutz daycares have always been considered the best in the world, as the same metapelet*  continues with her group of children for 3½ - 4 years. 
-- Growing up in Groups, The Russian Day Care Center and The Israeli Kibbutz, Joseph Marcus, editor, 1972, page 203


(*Metapelet is the Hebrew term for infant nurse and child-care worker.  Its plural is metaplot).
From birth to adulthood, children on Israeli kibbutzim lived with their peers and metapelet (caretaker) in a children's house. Come evening, their parents would spend two to three hours with them and then tuck them into bed. "It was inhuman, really inhuman," says Dorit Friedman, recalling her upbringing at Kibbutz Nachshon.
-- Mothering: The infant daycare experiment by Peg Lopata,, Winter 1993

As a result,
communal childrearing practices are no longer used in modern-day Israeli kibbutzim.  "Israeli Kibbutzim are rapidly dismantling their collective child-care centers because both the families and the community established that even a limited disassociation of children from their parents at a tender age is unacceptable".
-- "Children of the Universe", by Amitai Etzioni, Utne Reader, May/June 1993, page 55

A barrage of studies found that the graduates of kibbutz children’s facilities suffered disproportionately from a range of psychological disorders, including attachment deprivation traumas, major depression, schizophrenia, low self-esteem, and alcohol and drug problems. By 1994, more than half of all children on Israeli kibbutzim exhibited symptoms and psychopathologies associated with insecure attachment.
-- To Kindle a Soul: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Parents and Teachers, Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen, ©2001, p.106

In the first kibbutzim founded in the Second Aliyah (1905-1914)…Child care was collectivized, but the children spent afternoons and nights in their parents’ rooms.  Only in the Third Aliyah (1919-1920), probably under the impact of still more radical socialist ideology, did children spend their nights in dormitories that were part of the comprehensive house."
--Women in the Kibbutz
, Lionel Tiger & Joseph Shepher, ©1975, p. 162

"The kibbutz system…may meet (Frederick) Engel’s (Marxist) demands more completely than any social system (because) … Children of 90 per cent of the kibbutzim who are younger than 14 live in (daycare) dormitories, starting at the age of two to six weeks.”
-- Women in the Kibbutz, Lionel Tiger & Joseph Shepher, ©1975, p.29-30

" the early twenties the collective housing system was generally accepted, with youngsters of all ages lodged in special (day-care) houses. 
 -- Women in the Kibbutz, Lionel Tiger & Joseph Shepher, ©1975, p.38

"Right from its origins in the first decade of this century (1900's), one of the founding tenets of the kibbutz philosophy was the idea that children should be reared in communal houses, tended by professional (child-care) specialists." 

"This (day care) was an efficient way for adults facing pressing work (kibbutzniks were involved in building a nation from scratch) to, as one observer put it, 'get rid of children'."
-- "It Takes a Marriage", The American Enterprise, May/June 1996

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Continued on the next page

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Last updated:  02/14/2011

History of Daycare- Background | History of Daycare - Overview | Overview - cont. | Precursors to modern Daycare | Precursors - pg 2
Daycare in the former Soviet Union  | Soviet Union - pg 2 | Daycare in the early Zionist kibbutzim | Daycare during the Great Depression |
Daycare during WWII | Daycare during WWII - cont. Daycare after WWII to the 1960's  | Daycare after WWII - cont. | Daycare today  

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