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Pioneering of the Simon Fraser University Daycare: The Early Years 1965-1974

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Date created
Simon Fraser University opened in September 1965 and from the very beginning, a significant number of students arrived with their children in tow. Children present on university campuses was not the norm in the 1960s and this phenomenon presented administrations with unexpected challenges. At Simon Fraser University the arrival of preschool children needing daycare, accompanied by parents, some of whom were political and part of the burgeoning student movement, some of whom were liberationists and part of the campus women’s movement, some of whom were faculty arriving with the promise of childminding, and some of whom were simply student/parents desperately in need of daycare; but not just any daycare. What united students, faculty, and staff, all arriving with children at Simon Fraser University, was the need to have accessible campus daycare with an unprecedented high standard of care and education, overseen by the parents involved, and without external interference. In the 1960s this is not how daycare was perceived, delivered, or administrated and to achieve this innovative horizon, SFU parents had to petition, demonstrate, sit-in, occupy, protest, and defy authority.The Simon Fraser Daycare Movement was as significant and ground-breaking as the campus student movement and the women’s movement but it has remained undocumented in the condensed form that this thesis offers. Through archival material and oral histories, the early SFU Daycare Movement is acknowledged in this dissertation. This thesis contribution to the history of Simon Fraser University is important, offering new material about the SFU student body, the 1960s and early 1970s campus activity, and the emergence of childcare as a matter of excellence rather than maintenance. The Simon Fraser Childcare Society that exists on campus today, has its roots planted in the midst of 1960s radicalism.
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Campbell, Lara
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