Acland (1908)

Notes on the text

The complete report (except for the Appendices) is shown in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go to the various chapters.

(page numbers in brackets)

Preliminary pages (1-10)

Prefaratory note
Committee membership

Part I Introductory (11-15)

1 Reference
2 Sources of information

Part II The Report (16-60)

1 Public provision for younger infants
2 Methods of dealing with younger infants
3 The ideal institution
4 Advantages of nursery school attendance
5 Objections to school attendance for under fives
6 The practice in other countries
7 The views of LEAs
8 Practical application of the Committee's views
9 Financial aspects of the question
10 The nursery school in the educational system
11 Lower age limit for school attendance
12 Conclusion
13 Recommendations

Part III Evidence of Witnesses (61-130)

A Medical Officers
B Representatives of local education authorities
C Inspectors
D School teachers
E General
F Scottish witnesses

Part IV Reports from Foreign Countries (131-248)

I Belgium
II France
III Germany and Switzerland

Appendices (249-350)
(image-only pdf file - 12.1mb)

The Acland Report (1908)
Consultative Committee Report Upon the School Attendance of Children Below the Age of Five

London: HM Stationery Office

[title page]







(Adopted by the Committee July 2nd, 1908)

Presented to both houses of Parliament by Command of His Majesty


And to be purchased, either directly or through any Bookseller, from


[Cd. 4259.]    Price, 1s. 5d.

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There are few questions arising in the field of educational science or practice upon which a greater diversity of opinion has been found to exist than that of the age at which it is desirable, in the interests of the children themselves and of the community at large, that attendance at school should commence. This diversity of opinion is due, no doubt, to the unusual complexity of the problem, which is nowhere more effectively displayed than in the exhaustive Report which the Consultative Committee have just presented to the Board of Education, and which is published herewith.

It is not necessary here to recite the terms in which the question was referred by the Board to the Consultative Committee, since those terms are set out verbatim in the first paragraph of the Report. In seeking the advice of the Committee the Board were moved by the hope of obtaining a carefully considered opinion upon a question which had for some years been widely canvassed, and, as an outcome of that opinion, practical suggestions for lines of policy which might perhaps to some extent reconcile the widely divergent views to which reference has already been made. In this hope it is clear that the Board have not been disappointed. The Committee have carried out their task with the thoroughness which their work in the past has led everyone to expect from them as a matter of course; and, even though diverse opinions may be held as to some of the conclusions at which the Committee have arrived, there cannot be any doubt as to the value of the evidence they have collected with so much care and labour and presented in such a useful and readable form.

The very bulk and comprehensiveness of the Report and the Evidence here presented (which only reached the Board of Education yesterday) render it impossible for them without long and careful consideration to express an opinion as to the conclusions of the Committee, and still less to formulate any new policy on them. Knowing, however, the interest which the question under consideration has aroused throughout the country, the Board have determined to publish the Report of the Committee immediately.

It should be added that the thanks of the Board are due not only to the Committee but also to those persons who, having given evidence before the Committee, have consented to the publication of their evidence. It is no reflection on the work of the Committee or on the value of their conclusions to say that the weight of the Report as a whole is materially enhanced by

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the production of the very varied and comprehensive evidence upon which those conclusions are based.

In addition to the Committee's Report and the evidence given by witnesses who attended before the Committee, there will be found on pages 131 to 248 and 275 to 350 of this Volume some valuable Reports, with full Appendices, on the provision made for little children in Belgium, in France, in Germany and in Switzerland. These Reports were procured for the information of the Committee and of Local Education Authorities and of the public generally through the instrumentality and under the direction and supervision of the Board's Director of Special Inquiries and Reports.

A Special Scheme of inquiry and an itinerary were drawn up by him last year, by the Board's direction, and the mission of investigation entrusted to two ladies, Miss M. B. Synge and Miss M. G. May, and to the late Mr. T. Darlington, one of H.M. Inspectors of Schools. Mr. Darlington's recent untimely death is greatly deplored by the Board; it occurred before he had been able to write his Report on this subject, or to set out the historical Sketch of German theory and practice in relation to this important problem, which he had planned and for which he had commenced collecting the material.

July 30th, 1908.

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Names of the Members of the Consultative Committee10



1. The Reference from the Board of Education11
2. Sources of Information
1. Evidence of witnesses13
2. Inquiry Form issued to Local Education Authorities14
3. Reports on Practice of Foreign Countries15


1. The Need for Making Some Public Provision for Younger Infants whose Home Conditions are Imperfect16

2. Possible Methods of Dealing with Younger Infants whose Home Conditions are Imperfect

3. The Ideal Institution for such Younger Infants
(a) The Premises20
(b) The Curriculum21
(c) Apparatus22
(d) The Staff22

4. Advantages Derived by such Younger Infants from Attendance at a Nursery School
(a) Moral Advantages24
(b) Physical Advantages25
(c) Mental Advantages25

5. Consideration of the Objections urged Against School Attendance of Children under Five
(a) Moral Objections25
   Effect of early school attendance on children's character25
   Effect of early school attendance on parental responsibility26
(b) Physical Objections27
   The question of ventilation27
   The question of infection30
   The question of cleanliness; School baths32
(c) Mental Objections33
   The dangers of premature mental strain33
   The capacity of younger infants for profiting by instruction36
(d) Summary of the Committee's views on these objections37

6. The Practice of Countries other than England and Wales

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United States of America43

7. The Views of Local Education Authorities

8. Practical Application of the Committee's Views
(a) The school attendance of younger infants a matter for the Local Education Authority, subject to appeal to the Board of Education47
(b) The amount of school accommodation required for younger infants48
   (i) Urban areas48
   (ii) Rural areas49

9. Financial Aspects of the Question

10. The Place of the Nursery School in the Educational System

11. The Lower Limit of Age for Voluntary and Compulsory Attendance at School

12. Conclusion

13. Recommendations


Evidence of Witnesses who appeared before the Committee61
A Medical Officers:
Dr. J. Kerr, Dr. C. J. Thomas, and Dr. A. H. Hogarth, of the London County Council Education Department61
Dr. G. Q. Lennane, Medical Officer of Health, Battersea70
Dr. J. M. Martin, Medical Officer of Health, Stroud74
Dr. A. Newsholme, Medical Officer of Health, Brighton*77
Dr. James Niven, Medical Officer of Health, Manchester80
B. Representatives of Local Education Authorities:
Mr. Councillor A. J. Cheverton, Chairman of the Southampton Education Committee82
Mr. A. C. Coffin, Secretary of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Education Committee84
Mr. Arthur Hawcridge, Director of Education to the Barrow-in-Furness Education Committee85
C. Inspectors:
Mr. A. F. Butler, H.M.I., Essex87
Miss Munday, one of His Majesty's Inspectors who reported to the Board of Education in 1905 on Children under Five in Public Elementary Schools88
Mr. J. Tillard, H.M.I., Norfolk91
D. Teachers:
Miss Goodwin, Head Mistress of the Eastern District Infants' School, Southampton92

*Now Medical Officer of the Local Government Board.

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Mrs. Kemp, Head Mistress of the Glusburn Council School, near Keighley94
Mr. Walter Roberts, Head Master of Steventon Church School, Berkshire97
Mrs. Shaw, Head Mistress of the Hazelrigge Road Infants' School, Clapham99
Miss Sheldon, Head Mistress of the Christ Church Infants' School, Blackburn102
E. General:
Mr. Felix Clay, Architect to the Board of Education104
Miss Henland (now Mrs. Percival), Honorary Secretary of the National Society of Day Nurseries107
Miss Grace Owen, Victoria University, Manchester110
Mr. Robert Parr, Director of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children113
Miss Pearse, Superintendent of the London County Council Nurses115
Sister Petre and Sister Egerton, of the Convent of Sisters of Charity, Carlisle Place, London120
F. Scottish Witnesses:
   (i) School Board Officials:
Mr. G. W. Alexander, Clerk to the Edinburgh School Board122
Mr. J. Clark, Clerk to the Glasgow School Board125
   (ii) Teachers:
Miss Harriet Beck, Head Assistant of Milton House School, Edinburgh128


Reports upon the Provision made in Foreign Countries131

I Belgium
(Miss M. B. Synge's Report)

The Crèche system in Belgium131
Infant Mortality132
Crèches in Brussels133
   1. Crèche Mère133
   2. Crèche t'Kint133
   3. Crèche de la Charité134
   4. Crèche de Grimberghe135
Account of Crèche St. Gilles136
Crèche d'Ixelles139
Crèches at Liège139

General Remarks140
Training of Teachers for Ecoles Gardiennes143
The Communal Jardine d'Enfants in Brussels144

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Instructions to Teachers on the Moral Training of Citizens146
Organisation of Jardine d'Enfants in Brussels147
   Conditions of Admission - Staff - Salaries147
   Care of Children149
   School Committees150
   Toys and other Gifts151
   Inspection (Communal)151
   State Inspection153
   Medical Inspection - New Organisation, 1907153
General Curriculum155
General Plan of Education156
Leaves from the Note-Book of a Directrice157
Building and Equipment160
Ecoles Gardiennes in the Suburbs of Brussels (Communal)161
Private Ecoles Gardiennes in Brussels and suburbs164
Jardins d'Enfants in Liege164
Ecoles Gardiennes in Antwerp167


II France
(Miss M. B. Synge's Report)

Foundation and Growth of Crèches in France171
Staff 173
Duties of Staff174
Dames Patronnesses175
Conditions of Admission176
Cost of Maintenance per Child178
Medical Inspection180
Building and Equipment181
How England compares with France in the matter of Crèches183
Brief notice of English Crèches184

Foundation of Ecoles Maternelles185
Duties of Staff187
Punishments - Prizes - Assistants189

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Femmes de Service - Concierge - Dames Patronnesses190
Conditions of Admission190
Support - Caisses des Ecoles191
Holidays - Classes de Jeudi - Classes de Vacances192
School Programme195
Ministerial Circular, 1905199
The Ideal201
Medical Inspection201
Government Inspection202
Private Schools202
Building and Equipment203
Comparison of Ecoles Maternelles and English Infant Schools204
General Observations205

III Germany and Switzerland
(Miss M. G. May's Report*)

(i) Nature and history of the institutions for young children207
   The Kinderbewahranstalt207
   The Kindergarten208
   The Krippe209
(ii) Administration and support209
(iii) Staff and training of teachers210
(iv) Salaries and Pensions211
(v) Building and Equipment212
(1) German-speaking Switzerland212
(2) French-speaking Switzerland213

(1) Berlin215
(2) Breslau217
(3) Cologne217
(4) Dresden218
(5) Dusseldorf219
(6) Frankfort-on-Main221
(7) Leipzig226
(8) Munich229
(9) Zurich235

*See footnote on page 40.

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(10) Basel238
(11) Geneva240


Comparison of English and German Methods245
Training given in Germany for the Care of Children246
The Kindergarten246
Cleanliness of Children in England, Germany and Switzerland247


1. Statistical Table, showing what proportion of children between three and five were attending school during the years 1891-1907249
2. Table showing in summary form the lower limit of compulsory attendance age in the principal foreign countries250
3. Memorandum by Dr. Haldane252
4. Letter from Mr. T. E. Thorpe255
5. Statistical table showing what action has actually been taken by the Local Education Authorities in England and Wales256
6. Statement showing relative cost of providing and maintaining Crèches and Baby Rooms261
7. School Baths263
8. Table showing comparative mortality rates for young children in England and Scotland268
9. Memorandum from Mr. Broadfield270
10. The wishes of the Parents271
10 a. The effect of the exclusion of younger infants upon the attendance of older scholars273

(Appendices to Belgian Report)
11. Instructions to Mothers, issued by Ligue Nationale Belge pour la Protection de l'Enfance du Premier Age275
12. Leaflet issued by the Société Protrectrice des Enfants Martyrs278
13. Syllabus on the Care of Infants, Brussels279
14. Number of Ecoles Gardiennes under State Inspection, 1905284
15. Budget des Jardins d'Enfants, 1907285
16. Total Cost of Ecoles Gardiennes in Belgium, 1904287
17. Carte Sanitaire Scolaire - Ville de Bruxelles288
18. Rules for the Examination of Teachers in Ecoles Gardiennes, June 17th, 1898290
19. Distributions de vêtements dans les Jardins d'Enfants pendant l'année, 1906-1907294
20. Ville de Bruxelles: Jardins d'Enfants, Distribution du travail295
21. Commune du Schaerbeck. Ecole Gardienne, No. 6. Menu for one week for 50 children296
22. Note on adenoids297
23. Short instructions on the first symptoms of infectious diseases208

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(Appendices to French Report)
24. Proportion of Child Population under Compulsory School Age provided for in Crèches and Ecoles Maternelles302
25. Rules of the Society of Crèches304
26. Specimen Copy of Rules for Crèches306
27. Detailed Expenses of Crèche Fourcade for 1906307
28. Details of Laundry for 25 Children making 7,722 attendances in a year of 297 days308
29. Table of Infant Growth during First Year309
30. Syllabus of Lessons on the Care of Infants310
31. Instructions on Feeding313
32. Bains-douches at the Ecole Maternelle314
33. Model Time-Table for the Schools in the Department de la Seine315
34. Menus in Ecoles Maternelles318
35. Plans and Detailed cost of Building and Equipment of various Crèches320
36. Plan of Pouponnière128

(Appendices to German and Swiss Report)
37. Table of general statistics for institutions in Germany329
38. Table giving the percentage of children attending institutions in the towns visited332
39. Specimen Copy of Rules for Admission to a Kindergarten (Frankfort)333
40. Specimen Time-Tables:
   (1) Time-Table of the Kindergartens in Munich333
   (2) Time-Table of a Kleinkinderbewahranstalt335
   (3) Suggested Time-Table for the first year in an elementary school336
   (4) Time-Table of an "Ecole Enfantine " (Malagnou)337
41. Specimen Regulations as to Kindergarten work, &c.:
   (1) Directions as to the "Occupations" in the Kindergartens of Zurich340
   (2) Programme of the Ecoles Enfantines (Geneva)341
42. Specimen Courses of Training:
   (1) Courses at the Pestalozzi-Froebelhaus I. (Berlin)342
   (2) Course for Kinderpflegerinnen (Berlin)343
   (3) Course for superior Nursery-Maids (Frankfort)344
   (4) Training Course for Kindergarten teachers (Zurich)345
43. Fortnightly Bill of Fare for the Kinderbewahranstalt in Leipzig-Eutritzsch346
44. Specimen Regulations for Krippen:
   (1) Regulations for Krippen (Zurich)347
   (2) Sanitary Regulations for Krippen (Zurich)348
   (3) Specimen Accounts of a Crèche349
45. Kinderhorte350

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Names of the Members of the Consultative Committee

ARTHUR H. WOOD (Secretary).

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1. The Reference from the Board of Education

In the month of April, 1907, the Consultative Committee received a letter from the Board of Education enclosing a reference to the Committee, of which the following is a copy:

To consider and advise the Board of Education in regard to the desirability, or otherwise, both on educational and other grounds, of discouraging the attendance at school of children under the age of (say) five years, on the assumption that, in the event of the change being found generally desirable, the moneys now payable by the Board of Education in the shape of grants in respect of the attendance of such children, should still be payable to Local Education Authorities, in greater relief of their expenditure in educating the children over five years of age.
When they received this reference from the Board the Committee were of course aware that the problem of the education of children under five years of age had been widely discussed during recent years. They thought it advisable, therefore, in the first instance, to review briefly the previous stages of this discussion; and, as their enquiry into this part of the subject conditioned to some extent their further proceedings, they think it will be well for them to outline here the position of things which they found existing at the beginning of their investigations and the various stages which had led up to it.

They found that it had been the general practice in England and Wales down to comparatively recent times for all children between three and five years of age to attend school if their parents so desired, and for school authorities to make regular provision for such children. Many parents of course preferred to keep their children at home, but the Committee found that during the fifteen years or so previous to their inquiry at least a third of all the children in England and Wales between the ages

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of three and five were on the registers of public elementary schools.* Various medical men and students of education, however, had at various times expressed their opinion that a public elementary school was not the proper place for these young children, and soon after the passing of the Education Act, 1902, some of the new authorities began to take up the question seriously. They found that the lower age limit for compulsory attendance at school in nearly every civilised country in the world was higher than in England, and that some medical men were opposed to the English practice of sending children to school under five years of age. They made careful investigations of their own into the subject, and the Board of Education also took up the question, and published in 1905 the reports of five Women Inspectors on the position of children under five years of age in public elementary schools. The practical result of these various inquiries was that in the Code for 1905 the Board of Education introduced the following addition to Article 53: "Where the Local Education Authority have so determined in the case of any school maintained by them, children who are under five years of age may be refused admission to that school." In the Prefatory Memorandum to this Code, the Board explained that various medical and educational objections to the school attendance of very young children had been raised, and that they were of opinion that the matter was one which should be left to the decision of the various Local Education Authorities. The following sentences from this Memorandum will show the nature of the Board's policy: "The extent to which parents in any locality desire that very young children should attend school, and the weight which should be attached to the wishes of the parents in this matter, are no doubt sufficiently well known to the Local Education Authority to enable them to deal on their own responsibility with the question of admitting or excluding children under five years of age. In these circumstances, the Board will now give the Local Education Authority complete discretion on this point, and it will be held under Article 53 that a direction of the Local Education Authority to the effect that children under five shall be refused admission to any particular school or schools is a reasonable ground for excluding such children from the school or schools concerned. If the Local Education Authority so wish, different parts of their area may be treated differently in this respect." No subsequent alterations have been made in the Code, and the above quotation therefore shows the position of things at the present moment.

From the outset it was clear to the Committee that the problem before them was many-sided, and their preliminary investigations into the manner in which Local Education Authorities had used their discretion only emphasised this fact. They found that some authorities had been strongly influenced by what they believed to be the practice of foreign countries.†

*See Appendix I.

†See Part II, § 6, page 38, and Part IV, page 131.

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Others had settled their policy mainly on educational, social, or medical grounds. Others again had clearly been guided to a great extent by questions of finance. The Committee felt that all these points of view must be fully considered before any conclusion could be reached, and they set themselves therefore to acquire information from sources which they thought would throw most light upon them. They have been careful throughout to invite evidence from representatives of every variety of experience and opinion.

2. Sources of Information

The information acquired has been obtained from three main sources, namely (i) evidence of specially qualified witnesses, (ii) written replies to questions addressed to Local Education Authorities, and (iii) reports on the practice of foreign countries.

(1) Evidence of Witnesses

The following witnesses appeared before the Committee, and supplied interesting and valuable information, for which the Committee are very grateful:

A. Medical Officers

Dr. Kerr, Dr. C. J. Thomas, and Dr. Hogarth, of the London County Council Education Department;
Dr. Lennane, Medical Officer of Health, Battersea;
Dr. J. M. Martin. Medical Officer of Health, Stroud;
Dr. Newsholme*, Medical Officer of Health, Brighton;
Dr. James Niven, Medical Officer of Health, Manchester.

B. Representatives of Local Education Authorities

Mr. Councillor Cheverton, Chairman of the Southampton Education Committee;
Mr. A. C. Coffin, Secretary of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Education Committee;
Mr. Arthur Hawcridge, Director of Education in the Barrow-in-Furness Education Committee.

These three witnesses were selected to represent Local Education Authorities which had excluded from their schools all children under five.

C. Inspectors

Mr. A. F. Butler, H.M.I., Essex;

Miss Munday, one of His Majesty's Inspectors who reported to the Board of Education in 1905 on Children under Five in Public Elementary Schools;
Mr. J. TiIlard, H.M.I., Norfolk.

D. Teachers

Miss Goodwin, Head Mistress of the Eastern District Infants' School, Southampton;

*Since Dr. Newsholme gave his evidence before the Committee he has been appointed Medical Officer of the Local Government Board.

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Mrs. Kemp, Head Mistress of the Glusburn Council School, near Keighley;
Mr. Roberts, Head Master of Steventon Church School, Berkshire;
Mrs. Shaw, Head Mistress of the Hazelrigge Road Infants' School, Clapham;
Miss Sheldon, Head Mistress of Christ Church Infants' School, Blackburn.

E. General

Mr. Felix Clay, Architect to the Board of Education;
Miss Henland*, Honorary Secretary of the National Society of Day Nurseries;
Miss Grace Owen, Victoria University, Manchester, who is in charge of a special class at Manchester Day Training College of students who are being specially trained as Teachers of Infants' Schools;
Mr. Robert Parr, Director of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, who kindly undertook to obtain through the medium of the Society's Inspectors the views of representative parents throughout England and Wales as to their personal wishes in connection with the attendance at school of children between three and five years of age, and who furnished the Committee with a very full and interesting summary of their Inspector's inquiries;
Miss Pearse, Superintendent of the London County Council Nurses;
Sister Petre and Sister Egerton, of the Convent of Sisters of Charity, Carlisle Place, London.

F. Scottish Witnesses

1. School Board Officials

Mr. G. W. Alexander, Clerk of the Edinburgh School Board, formerly Clerk of the School Board at Glasgow;
Mr. J. Clark, Clerk of the Glasgow School Board.

2. Teachers

Miss Beck, Head Mistress of Milton House School, Edinburgh;
Miss Hamilton, of the Pupil Teachers' Institute, Glasgow; and Miss Thompson, of the Gorbal's Public School, Glasgow.†

(2) Inquiry Form issued to Local Education Authorities

In the second place the Committee circulated to every Local Education Authority in England and Wales a Form of Inquiry, of which the following is a copy:

1. Are children under five years of age excluded from attendance at public elementary schools in your area?
(If any partial exclusion of children under five has been adopted it is desirable that it should be mentioned.)

*Now Mrs. Percival.

†See note on page 130.

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2. If they are not excluded, has the question been considered at all by your Committee, and, if so, can it be stated what are the reasons which led the Committee to decide against exclusion?

3. If they are excluded -

(a) What were the reasons for deciding to exclude them, and how far was the decision affected by (i) financial considerations, and (ii) educational considerations?

(b) Has there so far been any opportunity of observing the effects of the exclusion? For example:

(i) Has any difference been noticed, as between children who attend school before five and those entering school for the first time at the age of five, in respect of (a) capacity for learning, or (b) physical condition?
(ii) Is the exclusion of children before five found to increase the difficulty of securing their attendance at five?
(iii) Is the attendance of older scholars affected by the exclusion of the younger ones, owing to the former being required to stay at home in charge of the latter?
4. Should exclusion from school of children under five be required, would your authority think it necessary to provide something to take the place of the school for the little children of working parents, and, if so, what?

5. If there are any points not specifically enumerated above upon which your authority would be willing to give the Consultative Committee the advantage of their experience, such as, for instance:

The advisability of submitting children under five to formal instruction or inspection;
The necessary size, ventilation, and fittings of Baby Rooms;
The comparative cost of providing Crèches and proper Baby Rooms;
The kind of teacher best fitted to take charge of such Infants, etc.,
the Committee would be very glad to receive such information.

The Committee's object in issuing this Form of Inquiry was twofold. They wished to ascertain in the first place the actual practice of the various Authorities in the country in connection with the School Attendance of children between three and five, and in the second place to discover as far as possible to what extent the question had really been investigated by these Authorities, and on what grounds they had based their practice. The Committee would like to take this opportunity of placing on record their appreciation of the extreme care with which many of the Authorities replied to their Inquiry.

(3) Reports on the Practice of Foreign Countries

The third main source of information at the disposal of the Committee has been the collection of reports on the practice of foreign countries in dealing with children below the age of compulsory attendance at school. These reports, which are printed as Part IV of this volume, were kindly procured for the Committee by the Board of Education through the Director of Special Inquiries and Reports, and have been of great assistance to them in making their own report as comprehensive as possible.

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1. The need for making some Public Provision for Younger Infants* whose home conditions are imperfect

The Consultative Committee are of opinion that the best training for children between three and five years of age is that which they get from their mothers in their own homes, provided always that there exist in such homes adequate opportunities for the necessary maternal care and training.

When the mother does her duty by her children; when she knows how to care for them properly and to make the best use of her narrow means; when her employment does not keep her away from home; when the home itself is clean, well-lighted, well-ventilated, and not over-cramped, and when the little children are within easy reach of some safe place to play in out-of-doors; in such circumstances the home affords advantages for the early stages of education which cannot be reproduced by any school or public institution. There is in the natural relationship between mother and child, and in the other influences of good home life, a moral and educational power which it is of high national importance to preserve and to strengthen, and which educational policy should be careful not to impair.

It is obvious, however, that at the present moment such homes are not always found amongst parents who send their children

*The Committee have felt throughout their inquiry the want of suitable and accepted terms by which to describe young children of different ages. The word "Infant" which is used for Census purposes as applying only to children during their first year of life, is used in the Day School Code as applying to all children in Infants' departments or divisions - that is, to children between, approximately, the ages of three and seven. Infants are then sub-divided in the Code into "Younger Infants", and "Older Children in the Infants' School". In practice, however, these terms are loosely used, and are also confused by the additional word "Babies", which, though it is not mentioned in the Education Acts or in the Code, is frequently used by Local Education Authorities and by teachers when referring to children of three and four. The word "crèche" also has a fluctuating meaning. It is sometimes used for places where children are only retained to the end of their third year - which is the technical meaning of the word in France - and sometimes for places where children are kept to a later age, say, to the end of their fifth or even sixth year.

For the purposes of this Report the Committee feel that it would avoid inconvenience and uncertainty to define clearly at the beginning the meaning which they attach to these various words. They have decided therefore, to adopt the terminology of the Code for children between three and five years of age, to whom they will refer as "Younger Infants", whereas for children above five years of age who are taught as infants they will use the term" Older Infants". In a few instances where, for the sake of clearness, it has seemed advisable to use the term "Babies" (as for instance in the expression "Babies' Room"), it has been used as practically equivalent to "Younger Infants". The word "crèche" they will use as applicable to any public nursery where young children, who as a rule are under five, are cared for, and which, though public inspection is not at present imposed by law in this country, are usually available for visits from persons interested in the welfare of such young children.

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to many of our Public Elementary Schools. It is not only that there are parents who are not sufficiently alive to the well-being of their children; it is rather that many mothers, however anxious to discharge their whole duty towards their children, are nevertheless unable to train them properly at home owing to various circumstances. They may lack the necessary means or accommodation, or they may be compelled to leave home during the day and go to work. It is not within the province of the Committee to suggest how these difficulties may be overcome. All that concerns them at present is to call attention to the fact that many homes now exist in which the mental and physical development of young children cannot be properly secured. While, therefore, they are quite clear that the ideal scheme for young children is to leave them in a good home, they are equally clear that at present this ideal is in many cases not attainable.

The question arises, therefore, whether any public provision should be made for children from imperfect homes. The Committee think that it should, and they arrive at this conclusion by considering what would happen to these children if no such provision were made.

Taking first the case in which it is necessary for the mother to be absent during the greater part of the day, and assuming that there is no public institution to which she can send her children during her absence, the Committee find that there are only two courses open to her. She can leave her children unattended, either indoors or out of doors, or she can send them to be taken care of either by a neighbour or by a professional "minder".

As regards the first course, very little need be said. It is obviously undesirable that children of tender age should be left alone indoors for any length of time. If they are subject to any undue restraint the treatment not only causes avoidable suffering, but retards their development. If they are left free they undergo unnecessary risks from fire and accident.

It is almost equally unsatisfactory to leave children unattended out of doors, except perhaps in cottage gardens under a mother's eye, or in similar circumstances, though in such cases the children can hardly be said to be really unattended. Where the mother is away all day and cannot attend to the children's meals or supervise their play, or where the homes are in "slum" districts, the Committee cannot admit that the children can safely be left unattended all day in the streets or lanes. Apart from the physical dangers due to accidents, cold, wet, and dirt, children are often subjected under such conditions to very serious adverse moral influences. The Committee think that, difficult as it may be to estimate the extent to which these evils prevail, there is no doubt as to their gravity, and they consider that little children should be saved from unnecessary exposure to them.

If it is agreed then that no children should be left unattended indoors, and that many children live in surroundings where they

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cannot safely be left unattended out of doors, it remains to consider the second course open to a mother in the absence of any public provision being made for her children. This is to send them to be taken care of either by a neighbour or by a professional "minder".

For a neighbour's care, at its best, there is much to be said. A mother who has to go to work cannot do better than put her child during her absence under the care of a neighbour who is both able and willing to give it the right kind of motherly training in a home with "adequate opportunities". When, however, the child is placed in a home which falls below this standard, then at least the same objections obtain which have already been dealt with in the case or children in their own homes.

The professional "minder" is almost always unsatisfactory. The Committee are informed that it is a common practice in some districts for ignorant women to earn a living by minding their neighbour's children. The "minders" make on an average a charge of about 8d. a day per child, in return for which they undertake to watch and feed it. But there is at present no inspection or control over such places, which are often dirty and insanitary, and sometimes conducted by women of the grossest ignorance. It is a well-proved fact that it is a common practice in such places for children to be drugged in order to keep them quiet. A witness, who supported his statement with careful reference to dates and facts, informed the Committee that in certain districts it was by no means unusual for children to be dosed night and morning with various sedative medicines generally containing opium. In some places gin and soothing syrup are used, and in others laudanum and opium pills are often administered to children.

It may be added that it appears that these drugging practices apply almost entirely to children under three years of age. But they affect the children's health after three, and they show the nature of the places to which children over three are sometimes sent.

The Committee have hitherto dealt only with the children whose mother has to make some provision for them during her absence from home. The case of children whose mother, though she may stay at home, is yet unable, for whatever reason, to provide properly for her children's general development, is very similar.

The Committee have, therefore, been led to the conclusion that, in view of the present conditions of home life in England, especially in many parts or large towns, it is necessary that some public authority should provide opportunities for the suitable training and education of great numbers of little children, whose parents should be encouraged by every available means to make use of such opportunities. They believe that the wise provision of such forms or early training, so far from impairing the right development of home life, will directly and indirectly promote and encourage it. And they see reason for hoping that with

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improved social conditions (among which better educational opportunities are not the least important) there will be a steady decrease in the number of those homes in which little children fail to receive the inestimable advantage of right parental care.

2. Possible Methods of Dealing with Younger Infants whose Home Conditions are Imperfect

Granted, however, that there are at present a number of children whose home conditions are imperfect, that this number can only be very gradually diminished, and that in the meanwhile some public provision should be made for them, the question arises what form this provision should take.

There are, generally speaking, two classes of institutions to which parents can send small children, the Crèche and the Infant School. These may be differentiated from each other on the broad ground that the latter is professedly educational, and that the former is not. The institutions, however, which fall under the generic term of Infant School differ widely in their general characteristics. On the one hand are the schools where children are put under formal instruction and discipline. Under this heading the Committee would include Public Elementary Schools where the old-fashioned methods of teaching still linger - to the great disadvantage of the infants. In these schools the essential differences between infants and older scholars are not properly appreciated, and methods which are adopted with some propriety for imparting information to, and securing discipline amongst, elder children are applied with but little adaptation to the younger infants' classes.

On the other hand are the Schools where the special needs of small children are met by the provision of special rooms, special curriculum and special teaching. As a general name for such places the Committee would adopt the term "Nursery School". Under this heading the Committee would include alike those Public Elementary Schools, the number of which they are glad to believe is increasing, which at present contain properly organised classes for younger infants (commonly called "Babies' Classes" and "Babies' Rooms"), and also any other institutions where the arrangements for the younger infants approximate to those of the Kindergarten or Day Nursery.

The Committee would lay special stress on the very important differences which exist between these two kinds of school. They feel that many of the objections which have been urged against the attendance of younger infants at school have been made on the assumption that all schools were of the inferior and old fashioned type and were not likely to be improved to any great extent. It is obvious, however, that this is not the case, and that the whole question of the school attendance of younger infants has been greatly confused by a failure to distinguish

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clearly between the two types of school. So long as there is any doubt as to the character of the school, no discussion as to the advantages or disadvantages of sending young children to it can be of any value. The Committee think, therefore, that it is essential before proceeding further to define in considerable detail what they consider to be the general characteristics of the ideal institution for younger infants. They will then be in a position to describe more definitely what they hold to be the advantages of attendance at such a place, and to discuss with less confusion the objections which have been brought generally against the attendance of little children at school. It will avoid apparent confusion if the Committee state at once that they consider that if it is admitted that the State should begin to provide for the education of children at three years of age, it should do so by using the educational machinery already to hand, and not by adopting the alternative method of providing crèches. As a matter of convenience, therefore, the Committee will assume for the present that the ideal institution for younger infants will as a rule form an integral part of the Public Elementary School system. They will give their reasons for this view later on, when they will deal with the position of the crèche in the educational scheme.

3. The Ideal Institution for such Younger Infants

In describing the institution which the Committee consider to be the best alternative to the home for the large number of children for whom some alternative seems necessary, they will find it convenient to divide their remarks under the following heads - (a) The Premises; (b) The Curriculum; (c) The Apparatus; (d) The Staff.

(a) The Premises

The Committee consider that it would be advisable to have special building regulations for the premises of the younger infants. Without attempting themselves to frame any such formal regulations, they would like to call attention to the following points, which should be borne in mind in framing them:

(i) Younger infants are even more dependent upon light, air and sunshine than older children, and their premises therefore must be above reproach in these respects.

(ii) Heavy desks and galleries should never be used. They lend themselves to forms of instruction unsuitable to young children, and injurious to their physical development. Small tables and chairs should be used instead; these can be easily put on one side to make more room for games and play.

(iii) Much more floor space should be provided for younger infants than is generally provided at present for older children. The floor itself should be of some substance

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which is easily washed, and which is not too cold for infants to sit and lie on. If the surface is of wood, it should be of a kind which does not splinter, and should be treated with a dust-allaying preparation. All the corners where the floor joins the walls should be rounded, as in hospitals, to make cleaning easier and more thorough.

(iv) There should be an easy exit direct into the playground from any room used by the younger infants for play or lessons.

(v) The playgrounds should be partly under cover, so that the infants can be taken out constantly even in rain or hot sunshine. Where possible, the playgrounds should contain trees, and small plots for gardens.

(vi) The offices and washing arrangements must be suitable and as complete as possible, and close attention should be paid to their cleanliness. It will be found exceedingly desirable in some districts to provide some simple means for giving the children baths, as is done in the French Ecoles Maternelles, in many elementary schools all over Europe, and also in a few modern public elementary schools in England. (See page 32.) In any case, a sufficiency of clean towels and soap should be provided.

(b) The Curriculum
(i) The children's natural instinct for movement should not be unduly checked. They should have plenty of games and free play in the open air whenever possible.
Cleanly habits and ready obedience should be secured by a discipline which is kindly, but not unduly repressive.
A careful course of training of the muscles of speech and of those of the limbs should be thought out and adopted.

(ii) There should be no rigid time-table. An organised lesson should last about 15 minutes on an average, the teacher being allowed to use her discretion as to whether any one lesson might be shortened or prolonged.
The lessons should include singing, recitations, some of the Kindergarten gifts and games, and varied occupations such as ball, brick building, drawing on the blackboard, modelling in wet sand, reed and bead threading, rush plaiting, matching and sorting colours and shares, stick laying, sand drawing, picture and conversational lessons, nursery rhymes, story-telling and story-acting.
The following occupations may here be specifically noted as not suitable for these infants, namely: mat weaving, clay modelling, tablet laying, needle threading, pricking and sewing cardboard, and unravelling.

(iii) Formal lessons in reading, writing, and arithmetic should be rigidly excluded, and no inspection or examination of results in such subjects allowed.

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Nothing that requires prolonged complex operations of the nervous or muscular systems, such as sewing, knitting, or systematic drawing (other than blackboard) should be allowed. These involve strain, and the too rapid fatigue which strain produces.

(iv) The infants should be taken frequently into the playground, and should, if possible, spend half the day there.

(v) Infants should be allowed to sleep when they are sleepy. It is advisable to encourage them to sleep in the open-air under proper conditions.

(vi) As it is often convenient that elder boys and girls should escort their little brothers and sisters to school in the morning, and return with them in the afternoon, it may be found desirable in many cases to keep the Nursery School open during the same hours as the school for older scholars. There is no harm in this so long as the younger infants are allowed ample time for rest and sleep during the day.

(c) Apparatus
(i) Light chairs and low Kindergarten tables.

(ii) Net-beds, or other suitable and sanitary provision for sleeping.

(iii) Blackboards fixed round the lower part of the walls. (Where the blackboards are built into the walls they should not be recessed).

(iv) Pictures, simple in design and outline, and brightly coloured.

(v) Bricks of various sizes.

(vi) Large sand-troughs on wheels, for planting seeds and flowers, making "sand-pies", shell impressions, etc., with a supply of small spades and buckets.

(vii) Pets, such as gold-fish and birds.

(viii) Plants, especially when grown by the infants themselves.

(ix) Swings, a rocking horse, reins, balls, dolls, dolls' house, Noah's Ark, and models of animals.

(x) A piano.

(xi) Ample cupboards for toys, etc.

(d) The Staff

(i) The Teacher

The Committee deprecate very strongly the idea which appears to be prevalent that any teacher is good enough for infants. They hold, on the contrary, that the care of those young children presents difficulties at least equal to those which arise in teaching the older ones, and that infant teachers should be selected with scrupulous care.

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In the work of selection it would seem that more importance should be attached to fitness for this particular work than to mere academical qualifications. Probably the best person to have the management of the Nursery School will be a well-educated teacher who has been trained on Froebelian principles in the widest sense of the term. Her preparation would therefore include a careful study of the physical and mental development of childhood; a thorough course of Nature Study, at any rate of the most common forms of animal and plant life, so that she may stimulate the children's interest and answer their questions intelligently; and some study of literature and history from which she could select what is most appropriate for children in poetry and story. She should have such a knowledge of occupations and forms of hand-work as may enable her to select those which will best train hand and eye without making too great demands on little children, and she should have some training in the detection of physical and mental fatigue and in the physical conditions of young children in health and disease. A sympathetic and motherly instinct is an essential requirement in the teacher of younger infants, and also a bright and vigorous personality.

The Committee do not recommend that there should necessarily be a special training for the teacher in the Nursery School. They have rather indicated what they consider should be the special qualifications of all teachers of young children, among whom some will be found with special aptitude for dealing with the very little ones.

It may be added here that there should be no difficulty in securing that all teachers who go to a Training College should have every opportunity of obtaining instruction in the required subjects. Those, however, who obtain their status as teachers by passing the Board of Education's Certificate Examination may do so at present without necessarily receiving any instruction in one or two points that the Committee consider very important for all teachers. They think this defect could be remedied, however, without difficulty, if the Board of Education in their syllabus for the Certificate Examination would make it obligatory for all teachers to show some knowledge of the physical conditions of young children in health and disease, and also of the differences in the educational methods of dealing with older and younger children respectively.

Coming now to the amount of staff required in a Nursery School, the Committee would urge very strongly that infants cannot be properly handled if too many are placed at once under the care of one teacher. No woman, however competent, can give proper attention to a class of 60 or more infants, though there are many schools where the attempt is made. The Committee consider that the number of little children under one teacher should never exceed 30.

(ii) The School Attendant or School Help

In discussing the staff of the Nursery School, the Committee have referred so far only to the teacher. They have had brought

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before them, however, the imperative necessity of attending to the personal cleanliness of small children at school, and for this purpose they think it would be more suitable to provide as an additional member of the staff of the school a woman who would be a nurse or attendant rather than a teacher. Her duties would be various*. She would accompany the children to their offices and by constant care induce them to learn a cleanly habit, upon the vital importance of which it is impossible to lay too much stress. Where baths were provided she would wash the children who required it, and would in any case superintend the washing of their hands and faces. She would look to the state of their hair and clothing, and promptly call the attention of the teacher to any child who came to school in a dirty condition. By such means the general sensitiveness of the children to dirt would be aroused and strengthened, and their health, as well as the sanitary condition of the school generally, would be immensely improved. The Committee do not think that there would be much difficulty in securing respectable women to undertake these duties. It must, however, be understood that such an attendant is in no sense an alternative to the teacher, though in schools where the teacher is assisted by a nurse or attendant, the number of children allotted to the teacher might be slightly increased.

4. Advantages derived by such Younger Infants from Attendance at a Nursery School

The Committee having now described in general terms what they mean by a good Nursery School, are in a better position to enumerate the advantages which children may derive from attending a public institution specially equipped to meet their needs. These advantages fall naturally under three general heads - (a) Moral, (b) Physical, (c) Mental.

(a) Moral Advantages

As regard the moral advantages, the Committee have already referred to the dangers and temptations to which children are exposed in the streets. Their attendance at a Nursery School removes them from such dangers during a large part of the day, and secures for them instead cleaner and altogether more wholesome surroundings. They have the advantage of playing with other children of their own age under the eye of a teacher whose influence should be all for the good. They are taught to be truthful, kindly, and honest; to be cleanly and tidy in their persons; to be disciplined and obedient in their habits. They learn, in fact, many important lessons which more fortunately placed children learn at that age in their homes or their nurseries, and which these particular children have too little opportunity of learning except at school.

It may perhaps he difficult to estimate the extent and the permanence of the moral effect of school attendance upon young

*See, in this connection, the note on "Femmes de Service" in French Eccles Maternelles, page 190, and on the same arrangement in Belgian Jardins d'Enfants, page 149.

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children. As, however, the Nursery School is to attempt during a part of the child's life to do for its mind and body what a mother, able to fulfil her duties to the utmost, would do, it may be assumed that this moral effect on the child at the time and afterwards will be one of the most important advantages of such a school.

(b) Physical Advantages

.As regards the physical advantages derived from attendance at the Nursery School, it seems to be a fairly well-attested fact that many parents take more trouble about the food, the clothing, and the general cleanliness of their children when they begin to send them to school. The regular life, also, with regular hours for meals, tends to improve the physical development of the child. Further, many incipient diseases and weaknesses, such as defects of sight and hearing, are noticed at school which might escape observation at home, and which, if undetected, might entail serious and permanent harm. This advantage, of course, will be much increased now that the difficulties in the way of regular medical inspection of school children are being removed.

(c) Mental Advantages

As regards the mental advantages to be derived by younger infants from attendance at a Nursery School, it will be obvious from the Committee's description of the general nature and function of such a school that they are entirely in harmony with the view that the minds of such children are easily dulled and injured by being overworked at this early stage. The fact, however, that bad educational use is often made of these two years at school is not in itself an argument for the exclusion of children from school during that time. It is an argument for the improvement of the method, not for the banishment of the child.

5. Consideration of the Objections urged against School Attendance of Children under Five

Having now stated the grounds on which the Committee base their opinion that certain specified children, of whom there are a large number in this country, ought to attend a Nursery School between three and five years of age, it will be necessary to state and examine very carefully the objections which are urged on the other side, and to estimate as accurately as possible to what extent they appear to be valid.

(a) Moral Objections

Effect of Early School Attendance on Children's Character

From the point of view of character and conduct it is sometimes urged that on moral grounds younger infants are better at home, as they may learn bad habits through contact with worse mannered children at school. There are, of course, many cases where this is true. But it should be borne in mind that the

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real question at issue is not whether all the influences at school are invariably for good in the case of all children, but whether in the case of the children for whom no suitable provision can be made at home, the net advantages of school attendance do not outweigh the net advantages - of any alternative open to such children. The Committee think there can be no doubt as to the answer to this question, unless in those exceptional cases where the teacher is untrustworthy or incompetent, or the tone of a particular school is spoilt by the presence of a few unusually vicious children. Even so, in localities where the number of such children was large enough to be a danger in school, it could hardly be expected that the other children would avoid them altogether by staying away from school and playing in the streets; and if they are likely to meet them at all they had better do so in a place where their influence for evil will have much fewer opportunities for exerting itself. It may be added that whatever risks there may be in that connection they would be very sensibly diminished if the maximum number of younger infants under any one teacher at any one time were reduced to thirty as proposed.

Effect of Early School Attendance on Parental Responsibility

As regards the argument that by allowing children to attend school at three years of age, the responsibility of the parents is weakened and their control over their children diminished, to the moral detriment both of parents and children, the Committee are confident that in practice the general result is often the other way. It is a common experience to find that children who are attending school are cleaner and better clothed than those who remain at home, and that there is a marked deterioration in the general appearance of the children in any district on Saturdays or during the holidays. The Committee were informed that in poorer localities it is often the dirty and negligent mothers who keep their children at home until they are five years old; other mothers who may be equally poor but who have a fuller sense of their responsibilities send their children to school in order that when compelled to do so they may go out to work and so obtain the means to do their duty more completely by them. A teacher from a school in a very poor district informed the Committee that as she walked to school in the morning it was easy to tell which children were coming to school by noticing whether they were clean or dirty. While, therefore, the Committee agree that if all children under five were to attend school this might prevent the growth of a wholesome tradition of home life, they feel justified in believing that in the case of the children under consideration their attendance at school may be a useful means of bringing home to their mothers a livelier sense of their parental duties.*

*In this connection, it may be interesting to refer to the regulation in Belgium that children must be sent to the Infant School clean, with hair well brushed, shoes clean, and with clean linen on Mondays and Thursdays, failure to comply with this regulation meaning dismissal. (See page 168.)

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(b) Physical Objections

The objections, however, which weigh most with objectors are physical ones. It is urged (i) that children develop better by remaining constantly in the open air than by being collected together in badly ventilated school rooms; and (ii) that their aggregation in large numbers in school is a fruitful source of infection.

The Question of Ventilation

As regards the first objection, it has been urged that under the existing conditions of air-space, etc., proper ventilation in schools is extremely difficult, and that while all schools, therefore, are more dangerous to health than even indifferently arranged homes, the danger is much greater in the case of children under the age of five owing to their greater need of light and air. It is argued further that in the case of older children not only are the risks less, but the advantages of education are much greater, whereas with younger children the educational advantages are very doubtful and not sufficient to compensate for the undoubted physical disadvantages.

The Committee understand that many of those who hold this view base it largely upon the experiments made in Scotland by Dr. Haldane and Professor Carnelly some twenty years ago, in testing the relative purity of the air in the Public Elementary Schools of Dundee and in the homes of the parents of the children in those schools. These experiments clearly showed that the air in the schools, as tested for carbonic acid (CO2), was exceedingly impure, the average quantity of CO2 in volumes per 10,000 above the proportion in the outside air being 9.3 in twenty-five mechanically ventilated schools, and 15.1 in thirty-nine naturally ventilated schools. Experiments made at the same time showed that the air in various factories and workshops by day, and even in one-roomed dwellings by night, in the same town, was considerably purer, the average for the workshops with the smallest amount of cubic space per person being 7.9 volumes of CO2 per 10,000 above the proportion in the outside air, and the similar average for twenty-nine one-roomed dwellings at night being 6.6. The Committee were impressed by the seriousness of these facts, and consulted Dr. Haldane as to their significance. Dr. Haldane was good enough to draw up a short memorandum for the use of the Committee,* from which it appeared that, though there was no doubt as to the result of his experiments, there were several factors in the case which should be considered beyond the bare facts as given above. It is, for instance, very important to note that Dr. Haldane states that in the mechanically ventilated schools the apparatus then in use was very imperfect, and that in the naturally ventilated rooms it was usual for all the windows to be on one side of the room, so that there was no through draught of air. Further, Dr. Haldane does not himself con-

*See Appendix 3.

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sider that his experiments justify the exclusion of young children from school on the ground that the air of the school is not pure enough for them. In a letter which he addressed to the Committee, he wrote as follows: "No one would propose to hinder children from going to school for these reasons, although better ventilation, more space, and effective medical control are certainly called for ... I feel pretty confident that in the case of many children it is better both for them and their mothers that they should go to school as early as possible, and that an age limit as high as five would not be desirable."

From replies received from various Local Education Authorities, it is clear that, since the time when Dr. Haldane made his experiments in Scotland, a certain number of English Authorities have given attention to this subject and endeavoured by making their own experiments to solve the question for themselves. The Committee have no hesitation in saying that the results of those experiments which have been brought to their notice are rather encouraging than otherwise. For instance, one County Authority informed the Committee that they were discouraging the attendance of younger infants at school partly on physical grounds, and in support of their action forwarded a Table showing the "ventilation conditions" of eighteen schools in one rural district. At first sight the figures as to the state of the air in these schools appeared to be a complete justification of the action of the Authority, so alarming was the extent of the impurity as tested for CO2. The Committee, however, were able subsequently to see this Table in a more detailed form, and it was then seen that, in hardly any of these eighteen schools was there any system of ventilation at work. The Table, therefore, while being useful in showing the imperative necessity of introducing improvements in the schools in question, was far from conclusive as evidence in favour of the exclusion of children on the ground that school air could not be kept pure enough for them.

Another set of experiments which the Committee considered with great interest were supplied by the Local Education Authority for Blackburn. In 1905 this Authority made an exhaustive examination of the general sanitary conditions of each of their Elementary Schools, and also a chemical analysis of the air in them for carbonic acid. The Committee cannot attempt to summarise all the valuable results of this investigation, but the following facts may be quoted as an indication of what can be done to secure pure air even in town schools. The highest impurity discovered in Blackburn, where few of the schools have any artificial ventilation, was 20.8 parts of CO2, to 10,000 parts of air. In this case; however, nine gas jets and a stove were burning and no windows were open. The opening of the windows reduced the CO2 to 7.9 parts per 10,000. An average was also taken of 107 samples of school air during December and January , when gas was often used during the day-time, and when the outside air was often foggy. An average was taken, and this showed the presence of 10.41 parts of CO2 per

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10,000, ranging from 4.04 to 20.8 parts. Of these 107 samples, about half showed less than 10 parts of CO2 per 10,000 even at the worst time of the year. If, therefore, an impurity of not more than 9 parts of CO2 per 10,000 is accepted as a reasonable standard, it is seen that nearly half the schools in Blackburn comply with this test.

This evidence is in favour of the view that it is not impracticable to secure a reasonable standard of atmospheric purity in all schools where a suitable system of ventilation and heating can be put in. The Medical Officer of the Blackburn Authority has advised them in the following words: "I believe the prudent and scientific advice which should be given in this very important matter is that the Authority should discourage the attendance at school of children between the ages of three and five years whose parents are at home and able to look after them, and should allow school attendance for these young children if their parents are away at work". It should he added that the Blackburn Authority, with these experiments before them, have not decided to exclude all children under five from their schools.

It may be added here that an investigation of 164 samples of air in the Public Elementary Schools of Sunderland resulted in the following figures: In the Council Schools, 114 observations were made, and the average number of parts of CO2 per 10,000 was found to be 10.3; in the non-provided schools fifty-four observations were made, and the average number of parts of CO2 per 10,000 was found to be 13.6. In all cases the air was tested about an hour and a half after the beginning of school.

It is important to note, before leaving this subject, that the value of the above tests would be seriously misunderstood if it were inferred from them that it is the presence of carbonic acid itself in the air of schoolrooms which is prejudicial to the physical and mental activities of the children. The value of the carbonic acid test lies rather in this, that its presence in any quantity is easily ascertained and forms a reliable index to the real sources of danger. The most recent experiments appear to show that those symptoms of school fatigue which were formerly ascribed exclusively to the effects of carbonic acid itself are really due to conditions of temperature, relative humidity, and the presence of putrescible organic matter and of micro-organisms that carry infection. But even so, an excess of heat or damp or the presence of the active organisms of disease, are evils which almost always accompany the presence of an excess of carbonic acid, and the usual precautions, therefore, which are taken to reduce the amount of carbonic acid remain equally necessary, as they will at the same time reduce its attendant evils. The fact that carbonic acid, while not in itself quite the danger that has been hitherto supposed, is produced concurrently with the real causes of danger, does not in any way lessen the need for good methods of ventilation. All that it does is to emphasise the importance of cleanliness and tem-

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perature, and of their effect upon questions of ventilation in schoolrooms.*

The Committee are of opinion that the proper structure of any rooms or buildings used for the accommodation of young children is a subject that requires medical consideration; and, in view of the importance of the subject, they would strongly urge the Board of Education to take the matter up themselves, and investigate it thoroughly. It might be well, in making such an investigation, to invite the co-operation of the Local Government Board, and perhaps also of the Home Office. In any case the inquiry should be conducted by experts whose position would place their report beyond criticism. The Committee believe that such an inquiry would be very useful. It should lead to improved methods of building and ventilating new schools; it would give Local Education Authorities expert advice as to the improvement of existing buildings; and it should lead to a more intelligent use by teachers of the means of ventilation which are provided for them.

The Question of Infection

As regards the danger of infection, the Committee have had brought to their notice the many and varied investigations which are now being made by Medical Officers of Health and School Medical Officers in this connection. The subject is a difficult and very complex one, and it seems clear that the observations and statistics hitherto accumulated are not at present sufficient to decide the questions raised. The scantiness of the information available for deciding to what extent attendance at school contributes to the number of cases of infectious disease in the population is generally admitted. The organised collection of facts on this subject is urgently needed, so that in the future it may be possible to determine statistically a question of which it would be hard to over-estimate the importance.

In view, however, of what has already been said, it is not surprising that the evidence which the Committee have heard from medical witnesses seems to show that much difference of opinion exists as to the greater risks of the spread of epidemic diseases in schools for younger infants. The fact is that there do not appear to exist at present any figures which show for the country generally the liability of children unprotected by previous attack to succumb to the attacks of different diseases at different ages, or the fatality rates among children so attacked.

The Committee think, however, that they will be accurately representing the views of experts if they say that, on the whole, school attendance may, unless proper precautions are taken, tend to increase the spread of the two most prevalent diseases of childhood - namely, measles and whooping-cough. On the other hand, it is equally true that where the teachers are trained

*See the evidence on this subject given by Dr. Kerr and Dr. Thomas, page 64 et seq. and also Appendix 4.

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to notice incipient diseases and work in harmony with the Medical Officers, and where a prompt and careful system of isolation and exclusion is in force, school attendance may become a means, not of increasing infection, but of minimising it. It brings to the notice of the Medical Officer cases that otherwise would not be notified to him at all, and also enables him, or the teachers working through him, to give to uninformed parents advice which they sorely need.

It may, therefore, fairly be argued that even if in a certain number of cases it can be shown that children between three and five have caught infectious diseases at school which they would not have caught through contact with their elder brothers and sisters at home, this evil is more than compensated for by the great saving of infant life which can hardly fail to result from the prompt isolation and improved treatment of every child under five whose early symptoms of disease are detected at school. It may be added that these advantages are greatly increased in those places where school nurses are employed to visit the schools and the homes of any children whose mothers appear to need advice as to their proper treatment. This applies, of course, not only to infectious diseases, but to all the ailments of childhood.

While they are dealing with the question of infection, the Committee would like to point out that it seems to be generally agreed that one of the most efficacious methods of preventing the spread of infectious disease in school is the prompt exclusion of individual children who show early symptoms of illness rather than the closure of the whole school. This method of individual exclusion also causes the least amount of interference with the education of the majority of the children in a school. The Committee are inclined to regret that the Board of Education should have abandoned their system of grants for individual children excluded from school on grounds of infection, as they think that it is undesirable that a Local Education Authority should have any financial inducement, however small, to neglect a sound and economical method of dealing with a very serious school problem.

There is another means by which the risk of infection can be lessened amongst younger infants, namely, by not insisting in their case upon their attending school as regularly as older infants. At the present moment, as soon as their names are entered on the school registers, efforts are often made either to secure their regular attendance at school or to get them off the books, as, if they are irregular, they reduce the percentage of attendance in the infant school. This is taken to reflect upon the zeal both of the School Attendance Officer and of the teacher; even the salary of the teacher, in fact, may be affected by this cause. The result is that very young children are often urged to school when the state of the weather or their health or of some prevailing epidemic disease would make it safer for them to stay at home. It seems very desirable, therefore, that in questions connected with the salaries or records of teachers and School Attendance Officers, Local

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Authorities should distinguish carefully between the average attendance of infants under five and that of older infants, and that they should give their Attendance Officers and teachers instructions not to exert any undue pressure upon parents as regards the attendance of their younger infants. For purposes of grant the Committee would suggest that the Board should consider whether it might he possible in the case of schools where the younger infants are taken in separate classes to regard them as a separate department, and to calculate their grant by dividing their attendances by the number of their own meetings. This would enable a Local Authority to close the younger infants' classes altogether during very bad weather or epidemic illness without loss of grant.

The Question of Cleanliness: School Baths*

Before leaving the question of the physical effect of school attendance upon younger infants, the Committee would like to emphasise once more an aspect of the question to which they have already briefly alluded - namely, the importance of inculcating habits of personal cleanliness at a very early age. To ensure this, the Committee have suggested that, wherever possible, a nurse attendant should be attached to Nursery Schools, and that some simple apparatus should be supplied for giving the children baths. The Committee are only aware of two or three schools in England where baths have been provided for the children, though they understand that in some towns arrangements are made for school children to use the public baths at stated times. But in some of the private crèches visited by members of the Committee it was noticed that every child was washed all over on its arrival in the morning, and this practice is also general in the Ecoles Maternelles and Ecoles Gardiennes of France and Belgium. As regards the school bathing arrangements in Germany and Holland, the Committee have read with interest the report published in 1906 by the Education Committee of the London County Council, two of whose Medical Officers visited these countries and reported subsequently upon their methods for giving baths to school children. The following extracts from that report may be quoted:

"Every town visited had installations for bathing children at school; and it was stated that in Germany, wherever a permanent water service is available, even in quite small places of 3,000 or 4,000 inhabitants, such school bathing arrangements exist."

"For twenty years school cleansing baths have been an institution on the Continent. There is no doubt on the part or teachers or doctors as to the great benefits, both direct and indirect, which result from their use. There is immediate and noticeable improvement in the school air."

*See Appendix 7.

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"There is a noticeable improvement in the quality and cleanliness of the underclothing of the children, and improvement, too, in self-respect. All teachers speak of this. In England many children have clothing sewn on. The diminution of vermin is said to be also noticeable, absence of irritability and greater ability to do school work being claimed as a result of the weekly bath."

"These developments in school bathing have been taking place during the past generation."

"It is so generally known and recognised abroad that even Germans have long ago ceased to write papers or hold discussions on so commonplace a proceeding as the school showerbath."

The following extract from a circular issued to parents in a German town is of interest:

"For many years, doctors, educationalists, and a large section of the public have recognised that the improvement of the health of school children is one of the most important duties of the school, and that therefore the provision of means for the care of the body must be considered as a part of elementary school education."

"Early habits of cleanliness promote love of order, and are also capable of preventing in most cases the worst infectious diseases."

The Committee would strongly urge, in view of this evidence, that the Board of Education and all Local Education Authorities should do their utmost to secure an improvement in the facilities for cleansing both the persons and the clothes of young children. Such facilities need not necessarily be costly. A supply of hot water and a few zinc or earthenware tubs sunk in a tiled floor would in most cases meet the requirements. But in any ease, experience shows what a beneficial effect school bathing has had upon the general wellbeing of the children, and therefore upon their ability to profit by their instruction, and the Committee earnestly hope that the subject will receive in all responsible quarters the attention which it deserves.

It may he added that the advantages derived from school baths are much increased if arrangements are made also for disinfecting the clothes of the children who are bathed.

(c) Mental Objections

The Dangers of Premature Mental Strain

As regards the mental objections to school attendance for younger infants, the Committee have already stated that they entirely agree that no mental pressure should be brought to bear on the minds of children at this early age, and they have been surprised to hear from some witnesses, both teachers and others, how backward some Local Education Authorities and infants' teachers are in adopting a better gradation of method between younger and older infants.

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It would seem that in cases where it is true that teachers have unduly pressed forward the infants under their charge, they have done so from one of the following reasons. Either they have done so on their own initiative from lack of proper training in the science of teaching, or they have done so on account of external pressure. This external pressure may come from various quarters. It may come from the teachers in the upper departments or the school, who complain that when children come up from the infants' school they are not sufficiently advanced in the more mechanical part of their education. It may come, either direct or through their Inspectors, from the Local Education Authority, who for financial reasons desire that children shall be promoted as early as possible to a position in which they will earn a larger grant. Finally, it may come from the Board of Education through the action of their Inspectors. The teachers naturally attach great weight to the Inspector's views, and should they gather from his remarks that in his opinion other teachers are able to get more definite results of a certain kind, this would serve at once to stimulate and to misdirect their efforts.

The Committee consider that though these possibilities of danger undoubtedly exist they are not of such a nature that there can be any serious difficulty in surmounting them. That part of the evil which is due to ignorance on the part of existing teachers may be the most difficult to eradicate. But even in these cases much can be done by providing opportunities for them to attend courses of instruction in Kindergarten methods. This latter plan has been found in practice to be attainable by Local Education Authorities without great trouble or expense. As far as future teachers are concerned, those who, on account of their special aptitude, are selected for the actual care of infants will, it is hoped, have been increasingly able to study modern methods of infant teaching, owing to the recent and increasing growth of Training Colleges and the great attention now paid to their courses in the Theory of Education. Those who are in charge of older scholars will also have been able to learn to estimate more sympathetically the mental powers of the children sent up to them, and will not, by complaining of the smallness of their store of acquired facts, encourage the teachers of infants to strain the capacities of their charges. It is hoped that even those teachers who by natural inclination prefer to teach older children will be trained to acquaint themselves in some detail, and as a matter of course, with the aims and methods employed by the teachers of infants in preparing their material for them.

As regards the part which some of the Local Education Authorities play in the matter, it must be admitted that in view of the public feeling about education rates in some districts, the inducement to promote children to the upper school at too early an age is a very strong one. The Committee are of opinion that the pressure which exists under the present system, when a child which can he pushed into the upper school at once earns

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a higher State grant and helps to reduce the school rates, is open to strong objection.*

The Committee would very much like to see this pressure removed, and they think that it is clear from the Board of Education's Report for 1904-5 that the Board are at one with them all this point. In that Report the Board "hoped that the introduction of a uniform rate of grant would remove a serious obstacle to freedom in classifying children according to their educational needs and capacities". The Committee are aware that there may be considerable difficulties in equalising the grants for all children in public elementary schools; but they venture to hope that the Board of Education may return to a consideration of the subject, and may be able eventually to devise some means of overcoming the obstacles. They would even go further, and recommend that as the expense of educating children in infant schools is as great as that of educating older scholars, the lower rate of grant ought to be raised to the higher. If this is impossible, and if the higher grants are to continue to be paid only for children in the upper school, they would suggest that the higher grant should begin to be paid, not when the child reaches a certain standard, but when it reaches a certain age.†

Lastly, while the Committee are far from implying that it is usual for H. M. Inspectors to encourage among teachers a wrong view of the methods of teaching infants, and while, in fact, it is clear from the Code, from the Suggestions to Teachers, and from the Women Inspectors' Reports on Children under Five, that none of the publications of the Board contain anything which would encourage the "cramming" of young children, yet the Committee have had brought to their notice cases in which the remarks of individual Inspectors have led teachers, whether rightly or wrongly, to suppose that the instruction of infants would be judged by results, i.e., by the actual amount of knowledge acquired. The Committee think that any possibility of danger from this source would be obviated if the Board, and also if Local Education Authorities, would remind their respective Inspectors to be invariably careful not to appear to expect any results which do not legitimately follow from proper methods. It is the methods, rather than the results, which should form the subjects of Inspectors' reports. It may be added that the advantages of inspection would be

*Except in a few instances, where the school organisation is not quite normal, Infants earn an Annual Grant of 17s. [85p] per head of average attendance, until they are promoted to the upper school, when they earn a grant of 22s. [1.10] In all such cases there is an inducement to force children on so that they should be ready by the time they are six and a half, or even six years of age, to be promoted to the upper school and so begin to earn 5s. a year more in relief of rates.

†Since this paragraph was written the Board of Education have published their "Memorandum on the Financial proposals in connection with the Bill of 1908". The Committee understand from the Memorandum that should its proposals come into force, no distinction would in future be made between the Grants payable in respect of Infants and older Scholars. The Committee are glad to note this indication that the difficult and important question of differential Grants is receiving attention.

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much enhanced if the Local Authorities' Inspectors and H.M. Inspectors would confer together on their methods, and if possible delimit their respective functions.

The Committee therefore may summarise their opinion upon this point as follows. They have had impressed upon them the necessity for a full medical discussion of any curriculum or method of instruction which may be proposed for younger infants, in relation to what is known of the development of the muscular and nervous system and of the senses. They fully agree both that medical approval is necessary for any such curriculum or method, and also that it can hardly be doubted that such approval would not be given in many existing infants' schools of the old-fashioned type. They have not had before them, however, any medical evidence which would show that a curriculum such as they have outlined above would have any injurious effect upon the muscular and nervous development of a child between three and five. Whatever danger, in fact, may arise under this head from attendance at school is a danger which can be removed by care and due supervision of the methods of instruction.

The Capacity of Younger Infants for Profiting by Instruction

Apart, however, from any question of actual mental strain, it is urged that children who come to school for the first time when they are five years of age are, or soon become, at least as intelligent as those who began at three, and that this view is supported for the most part by the Women Inspectors who investigated this question and reported to the Board in 1905. Thus, in the Introductory Memorandum to that Report, their views are summarised as follows: "It will be seen then that there is complete unanimity that the children between the ages of three and five get practically no intellectual advantage from school instruction". So far as this means that children of this age get no intellectual advantage from formal instruction and discipline of the kind which the Women Inspectors deplored, it is no doubt a fair summary of their views. But it is at least liable to be taken as referring to any form of school instruction, and it has, as a matter of fact, been so taken, though in the opinion of the Committee this summary goes a good deal beyond the reports themselves. For instance, in his paper on School Hygiene, which was read before the Second International Congress on School Hygiene, Dr. Newsholme, having quoted this sentence and also a paragraph from the Suggestions to Teachers to the effect that "formal teaching, even by means of Kindergarten occupations, is undesirable for children under five", then added that "the educational uselessness of school attendance under five years of age may therefore be regarded as officially endorsed". A very similar conclusion has also been drawn by several important Local Education Authorities. The Committee, however, do not agree that this conclusion is altogether justified by the premises. They would point out that even if in the schools visited by the Women Inspectors the children who had

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come to school for the first time at five were as intelligent as those who had come at three, it is fallacious to conclude from this that it is educationally useless for any children to attend any school at three. That children who have had the good fortune to be properly brought up at home till the age of five will often, or even usually, be more alert and intelligent than those from less fortunate homes who have been to school since the age of three, is quite what the Committee would expect. But this is a very different thing from concluding that because in certain schools the children who had come at three were at a later stage intellectually inferior to those who had come at five, their inferiority was due entirely to their attendance at school, and that similar results would doubtless be found to be general. In the first place, when such inferiority is found by experiment to exist among children who began to attend school at three, it may be, and often will be, due to less satisfactory home surroundings, and there is nothing to show that their backwardness might not have been still more marked if they had not come to school. In the second place, it should be remembered that if in certain cases their inferiority is really due to the fact that at their own particular school they have had their imaginations dulled and their originality and natural instincts drilled out of them, the cure for that is not to exclude them from all school attendance, but to improve the methods of instruction. The Committee, while regretting to find evidence that some schools still survive where antiquated methods of infant teaching are still prevalent, see no reason to despair of their early and rapid improvement. On the contrary, they believe that if Local Education Authorities, managers, and teachers knew that the question had been definitely and finally settled on lines similar to those suggested by the Committee, the proper type of Nursery School would soon be evolved wherever there is need for it, as it already has been in not a few cases. The Committee believe that, in such a school, the children for whom it is intended will be the better for the mental training which they receive, they will be at least partially restored to an equality with children from more fortunate surroundings, and they will repay the cost of such training by being able to make better use of the instruction given in the higher classes when they are promoted to them.

(d) Summary of the Committee's Views on these Objections

It will be seen from the above remarks that the Committee do not consider that any of the objections which have been made against the school attendance of certain children under five are sufficient to justify this exclusion. It might, however, be argued that though no one of the objections was in itself sufficient to outweigh the advantages of such attendance, yet the aggregate objections might outweigh the aggregate advantages. The Committee quite admit that in individual cases this may be true. If

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it is agreed that some children are better at home and that some are better at school, there will no doubt be border line cases in which it may be difficult to decide on which side the balance of advantages may lie. But these cases do not seriously affect the Committee's position as regards the majority of the children, nor do they think that such cases will involve serious difficulties in actual administration. The general conditions of any one district will determine the general practice as to the attendance of younger infants in that district. Border line cases must, no doubt, be decided on their merits, but the new procedure for medical inspection introduced under the Education (Administrative Provisions) Act will be of great assistance in supplying much of the information required for the decision in each case.

6. The Practice of Countries other than England and Wales

The Committee have contented themselves so far with treating the question before them as a purely English one. They have looked to the needs of English children as affected by the conditions of English schools and of English home life, and have relied entirely upon the experience and investigations of English authorities. But, as has already been mentioned, the Committee are aware that it has often been stated that the English practice as regards the education of very young children differs widely from that of most other civilised countries, and it seemed desirable therefore to enquire very carefully into this point. The Committee felt that if it were true that no other country had found it advisable to make any provision for the public instruction of children below five, six, or even seven years of age, it was incumbent upon them to examine what were the circumstances which made a certain policy advantageous in one country which was thought unnecessary or even harmful in all others. It might be that the altered conditions of industry and home life might justify the difference. It might be that good grounds could be found for showing that the foreign practice was not really successful in actual working. On the other hand, it might be that an enquiry into foreign methods would bring to light important arguments in their favour which had previously been overlooked in England. In any case, the subject was clearly one which could not be overlooked.

As to the truth or otherwise of the statement that the lower limit of compulsory school attendance in most other countries is higher than in England, there is, of course, no doubt whatever. The actual facts were given in a statement published by the Board in 1906. A shortened form of this statement is given in Appendix 2 of this Report. The information contained in it was thus summarised by the Board: "In only a very few exceptional cases does the obligation (to attend school) begin before the age or six, or is postponed beyond the age or seven."

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It is important to point out at once that the ages given in this statement are the ages at which compulsory attendance begins, and that there was nothing on the face of it to show that all the countries concerned did not, as a matter of fact, make public provision for the voluntary attendance of children at a younger age. In fact, the introduction to the Board's statement expressly mentioned that in some cases this was actually done. Before going any further, therefore, it appeared to the Committee very desirable to follow up this hint, and to ascertain the nature and the extent of the provision made in these countries for the instruction of children below the age of compulsory attendance at school. Through the kind intervention and assistance of the Board, special Commissioners were sent to make enquiries in France, Germany, Belgium, and parts of Switzerland, and the exceedingly interesting reports which they prepared on their return are given in Part IV of this Report.*

It is not proposed to give here any complete summary of the substance of these reports. They are so valuable that they should be read in full by everyone who is interested in the question. It will be sufficient to estimate here the extent to which they support or weaken the arguments in favour of the policy which the Committee recommend for England.

It may be said at once that in all the countries which were visited by the Commissioners some public provision is made for the care and instruction of children below the age of compulsory school attendance. The provision so made, however, differs widely in the various countries as regards its organisation and its extent.


In Belgium it is found that the necessity for making public provision for very young children is generally admitted. Of all the children in the country between the ages of three and five, about half are accommodated in "Ecoles Gardiennes", or "Jardins d'Enfants". These schools are practically in the same position as public elementary schools in England. They are either built by, or adopted by, the Communes, or if they remain in private hands they must at least fulfil the necessary conditions for adoption by the Commune. At the same time they are under Government inspection and receive Government grants. The first official recognition of these schools dates from 1833. By the year 1881 there were 708 of them in existence, containing 56,408 children; by 1900 there were 2,310 schools, with 218,702 children; by 1905 there were 2,771 schools, with 258,149 children.

One interesting feature in the Belgian system to which special attention may be drawn here is the co-operation between the Education Authority and voluntary effort. The fact that such authorities make themselves responsible for the care and educa-

*The Board also offered to the Committee some further material on the Kindergarten systems of most civilised countries, which, however, was unfortunately not sufficiently ready for incorporation in this volume.

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tion of young children does not prevent charitable persons from assisting them by visiting the Jardins d'Enfants and the parents, giving food and clothing for the poorer children, and generally helping by voluntary personal service. It is much to be hoped that English Authorities may be led to encourage private assistance of this nature. At present public and private effort are to a large extent divorced in this country, to the great detriment of the younger children and their teachers, in whose case treatment of a more human and sympathetic character than can be given by busy officials is specially needed.


In France, the need for providing schools for at least a proportion of the children under the age for compulsory school attendance has also been admitted. The first "Salle d'Asile", or infants' school, was founded in 1771 in the Vosges district. At the beginning of the following century the first infants' school, that is, a school for children between two and six, was opened in Paris under private management, and in 1828 the Mayor of the 14th Arrondissement founded a model school on the same lines. Soon afterwards the Salles d'Asiles received State recognition, and were placed under Government inspection. By 1836 there were 24 such schools in Paris, containing 3,000 children, with a State grant of 75,000 francs, and 800 schools in the provinces containing 23,000 children. Twelve years later, in the words of M. Carnot, "Infant schools, improperly called charitable establishments, are henceforth establishments of public instruction, and to be called Ecoles Maternelles". By 1904 the number of Ecoles Maternelles in Paris had grown to 217. Taking the country as a whole, there were, in 1897, the last year about which the report gives the information, 5,859 Ecoles Maternelles, accommodating 737,569 children between the ages two and six. In the previous year, 1896, the total number of children of this age in the whole country was 2,666,873. It may be taken, therefore, that in the last year for which the information is available, about a quarter of the total population of France between the ages of two and six was provided for in Ecoles Maternelles.


In Germany the first institution for the care of small children whose mothers were at work was started in 1779, only a few years after the foundation of the first Salle d'Asile in France. But the subsequent development of the idea in Germany has been on very different lines. As is pointed out in Miss May's report (See Part IV, page 207), there are in Germany two types of institution which correspond to the Ecoles Maternelles of France, namely, the Kinderbewahranstalt and the Kindergarten.

*The Committee very much regret that His Majesty's Inspector, Mr. Darlington, who undertook to report upon the provisions made in Germany and Switzerland for children below the age for compulsory school attendance did not himself live to work up into a report the materials which he collected.

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The Bewahranstalt exists primarily as a refuge for children whose mothers are at work; the Kindergarten is expressly intended for education on Froebel's principles. In practice, however, it is not easy always to distinguish between them as each institution at times undertakes the typical functions of the other, and in the statistics given in Appendices 37 and 38 it has been found impossible to separate them. It is also impossible to give for Germany as a whole any complete statistics in this connection such as have been given for France and Belgium. In Germany there is no central organisation dealing with the question as a whole. The various institutions are as a general rule conducted by private persons or societies, and though in many cases they are assisted by the Municipalities they receive no State recognition or grants. It appears that they are increasing in number, but in spite of this there seems to be a growing tendency, anyhow in the North of Germany, to leave them in private hands. In no part of the country, except at Munich, do they form a definite part of the educational machinery.

While, therefore, it is not possible to state with any accuracy what percentage of German children below the compulsory age for school attendance are provided for in public institutions, the statistics given in Appendices 37 and 38 show that the actual number of such places in Germany is considerable, and that in some of the towns visited by Miss May, such as Munich, Frankfort, Dusseldorf and Crefeld, the percentage of children so provided for approximates to the average percentage in England and Wales. In the 47 towns mentioned in Appendix 37 there are 815 institutions for the care of children between the ages of 2½ and 6 years, and the number of such children who were in attendance in 1902 was just over 79,000. Of these 815 institutions, 294 were either Municipal or received Municipal grants, the total cost to the Municipalities in 1902 being about 16,000. As regards the percentage of children under school age who attended such institutions, there is great variation in the different towns. It is as low as 2.67 per cent in Berlin, and 4.11 in Leipzig; but it rises to 7.35 at Frankfort, 8 at Crefeld, 8.58 at Munich, and 11.53 at Dusseldorf.

While, however, it is clear from the above figures that much is done in various parts of Germany for children under school age, it is only fair to point out that it is perhaps not really so much as appears at first sight, when the social and industrial conditions of Germany are considered. The Committee have been supplied by Mr. Twentyman, of the Board's Office of Special Inquiries and Reports, with some valuable notes on the evils arising out of the employment of married women in factories in the German Empire, these notes being in the main a translation of parts of a report published by the Imperial Office for Home Affairs in 1901. This report was prepared and issued as a result of a resolution in the Reichstag "that the Imperial Chancellor be requested to have prepared an exhaustive

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report upon the employment of married women in factories - its extent, the causes and dangers of such employment, the possibility, desirability and methods of its curtailment, etc". A great deal of this report is irrelevant to the Committee's present purpose; but it seems desirable to call attention to that part of it which relates to the injurious effect which the extensive use of married women's labour has upon child life in Germany. It would appear that there are large numbers of children who are practically without home life, and that those who cannot be cared for by relatives are either boarded out or locked up at home or sent to day nurseries. In view of the large number of these children, it seems strange that the number of day nurseries is not larger in Germany than it is. The only explanation of this fact which is offered in Mr. Twentyman's extracts from the German Report is that many German parents have a prejudice against the day nurseries, as they feel that there is a taint of Poor Law Relief about them. To what extent this explanation is true, and to what extent there may be other causes which have militated against a greater increase of day nurseries in Germany, the Committee are not in a position to say. They felt, however, that it was only fair to call attention to the fact that though there were a large number of Bewahranstalten and Kindergartens in Germany, there are not so many as under the circumstances might have been expected, and that one reason for this would seem to be that they do not appear to receive the general approval of German working parents.


As is pointed out in Miss May's report, the material for the history of institutions for small children in Switzerland is scanty and scattered. As in Germany, there is no central organisation which controls them; in some districts they are managed by private bodies, and in others by the local authorities; and, again, their general aims and methods in the German-speaking districts appear to differ considerably from those in the French-speaking districts. Generally speaking, there exist in the towns and villages of German-speaking Switzerland institutions for children between 4 and 6 years of age which correspond to the Bewahranstalten and Kindergartens of Germany. They differ, however, in these two points, that they are a more recognised feature of elementary education than in Germany, and that the private institutions are being more and more transferred to the public authorities. In French-speaking Switzerland there is, generally speaking, a more formal system of "Ecoles Enfantines", which are organised by the Communal Authorities themselves and which form a recognised part of public elementary education and prepare directly for the work of the primary school. Attendance at these schools is free, and not compulsory before the age of six.

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As regards the number of public institutions in Switzerland for children below compulsory school age, and the number or children in them, the Committee have no information beyond the figures given in Appendix 38 for Basel and Zurich. In these two towns a very large percentage or children under school age are provided for in public institutions, but no generalisation can be made from them as to the percentage in other districts or in the country as a whole.

United States of America

As regards the United States of America, the Committee have not had the advantage of receiving any report such as they obtained for some of the European countries. They have had their attention called, however, to a paper on the kindergarten system in the United States by the Director of Public Kindergartens, Boston, Massachusetts. This paper is included in the Report of the United States Commissioner of Education for 1903, which was published at Washington in 1905, and the Committee assume, therefore, that the information contained in it is official and authentic. It is not easy to summarise the facts given in this paper, as the organisation of public education differs so widely in the various States. The Committee think, however, that the following remarks give a substantially accurate account of what is being done.

It appears that in the United States, as in the other countries whose arrangements for young children have been described above, kindergartens for children below the normal school age were introduced as private institutions, and after a short interval were taken up by the Public School Authorities. The first few private kindergartens were established in America between 1858 and 1870, while the first kindergarten in connection with public schools was opened in Boston in 1870. Since that time the system has grown very rapidly, and its influence is said to have extended to every section of the country. "In 1898 the number of kindergartens reported to the Bureau of Education was 2,884, and the number of pupils was 143,720. Of these 1,365 were public, with 95,867 pupils; 1,519 were private kindergartens, with 47,853 pupils. The number of cities reporting public kindergartens was 189. In 1902 there were 3,244 kindergartens, with 205,432 pupils, The number of cities of over 4,000 inhabitants supporting public kindergartens had increased to 289, the number of public kindergartens to 2,202, and the number of pupils in them to 151,552. There are 1,022 private kindergartens known to be in existence that have failed to report any information. Their estimated strength, assuming the average number of pupils, is 52,052 pupils." "It would seem safe to assume that there are at present (i.e., 1905) 300,000 children attending kindergartens in this country, and that from the standpoint of numerical increase the outlook may be called satisfactory. It does not seem

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likely that the kindergarten will not continue to exist, or that its place in our system of public education is insecure."


It will be convenient to refer here to the case of Scotland, into the school conditions of which the Committee made a few inquiries of their own. In that country children do not as a rule go to school till they are about six years of age. The actual age limit for compulsory attendance is five, but the general practice is to allow children another year or so at home before any strong measures are taken to compel their attendance. The Committee were naturally anxious, therefore, to discover whether anything was done in Scotland for children below these ages, and, if not, whether the system was generally considered to be satisfactory. With this object they took steps to procure evidence on the subject from competent Scottish witnesses,* and the result of their inquiries may briefly be summarised as follows.

It appears that in Scotland practically nothing is done by the School Boards for children between three and five, and that parents as a rule acquiesce in this arrangement. On the other hand, the evidence suggests that the Scottish practice is mainly the result of tradition, and has not been adopted for definite educational reasons. It is largely a question of "use and wont". School Boards do not now provide accommodation for very young children, mainly because they never have; while parents do not demand it because they have never known any other arrangement. As one witness remarked, parents have not deliberately chosen the home in preference to the school; they are aware that there is no obligation on the part of the Board to accept children under five, nor on their part to send them. They have never had the alternative really offered to them; consequently the fact that there is no demand does not indicate that there is no need. That there is such need was admitted by all the Scottish witnesses. The Clerk of the Glasgow School Board gave it as his opinion that the absence of any public provision for younger infants in Glasgow was a crying evil. In Edinburgh the need became so urgent that the teachers themselves started a private Kindergarten under their own control. At the same time, it is possible that the proportion of such children in Scotland as a whole who are in need of public nursery schools is small. The Committee were informed, for instance, that there were probably fewer married women going out to work, and that there is a better tradition of home life and parental responsibility in Scotland than in England. It would be difficult to estimate the truth of the latter statement, but it may be noted that it is borne out by several observers who are quoted in Dr. James Kerr's "School Hygiene". It is there pointed out that the infantile death rates

*See page 122.

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are lower in Scotland owing to the "better care for the children at home which exists in Scotland", or to the "pronounced home influences."* However this may be, it is sufficient for the Committee's purpose to note that it cannot be claimed that the Scottish practice is the result of deliberate policy founded on educational grounds, and that its practical working is entirely satisfactory. As a matter of fact, its growth appears to have been somewhat fortuitous, and those who are most closely connected with its working in some of the largest towns have admitted that it is not entirely adequate to the people's needs.


As regards Ireland, it seems sufficient to note here that in that country children attend the public elementary schools between the ages of three and five, in approximately the same numbers as they do in England.


Enough has now been said to give a general idea of the practice of France, Belgium, Germany, German-speaking Switzerland, the United States, Scotland, and Ireland, in connection with the attendance of younger infants at school. It appears that of all these countries Scotland has made least provision, whether by public or private agencies, for the public education of children below the age for compulsory attendance at school. It is stated that this is due partly to a better tradition of home life, and partly to the small amount of married women's labour, which have reduced to comparatively small proportions the number of children whose mothers are not competent and willing to care for them at home. On the other hand, it is clear that anyhow in the larger towns it is admitted by competent Scotch authorities that there are a number of children for whom some public provision seems necessary, and that if very little has been done in this direction, this is due more to accident and tradition than to settled convictions.

In the other countries, it is found that in Belgium about 30 per cent of the population between three and six attend Eccles Gardiennes; that in France about 25 per cent between two and six attend Ecoles Maternelles; that in Germany and German-speaking Switzerland kindergartens are common, though not nearly so much so as in France and Belgium. It will further be noticed that in the United States, France and Belgium the number of kindergartens and Ecoles Gardiennes and Maternelles has been rapidly increasing; that in German-speaking Switzerland the public school authorities are gradually taking over the private infants' schools,

*It would appear, however, that it is only in the case of children under one year of age that the death rate in Scotland is lower than that in England and Wales. For each of the years from 1 to 5, the death rate in England and Wales is slightly lower than that in Scotland. For detailed statistics, see Appendix 8, page 268.

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and that in Germany, though there is no central organisation, the majority of municipalities give their approval to the system of Kleinkinderanstalten by giving them grants.

The Committee feel justified, therefore, in claiming that the practice of foreign countries gives uniform support to their main contention. The Committee hold that properly equipped nursery schools should be maintained for a certain proportion of the population between the ages of three and five, and they find on investigation that this principle is admitted and is being acted upon to an increasing, though varying, extent, in all the foreign countries of which they have any detailed knowledge.

7. The Views of Local Education Authorities

It has already been mentioned that during the last two years or so Local Education Authorities have had complete discretion in deciding whether or not they would exclude younger infants from their schools. In view of this fact, the Committee were anxious to learn what action had been taken by the various Authorities, and they issued to them the form of enquiry which is given in full on pages 14 and 15. All but five of these Authorities have complied with the Committee's request for information, and though the replies differ considerably in fulness they are as a whole very valuable, and form an exceedingly interesting addition to the available evidence on the question. It is evident that many of these Authorities have fully realised the seriousness of the important national question which has been left to them to decide, and have, after a searching investigation, framed their policy solely with a view to doing their best for the children committed to their charge. The Committee, however, cannot refrain from adding that it is equally evident that many other Authorities have based their action on very different grounds. In some cases the question has been treated solely from the point of view of finance, and in others, so far as the Committee can judge from the information supplied by the Authorities themselves, it has been treated in a somewhat uncertain manner without the serious consideration which it deserves.

To give the replies of the Local Education Authorities in full, or even in summary, would occupy too much space in the Committee's report. In order, however, to give as clear an idea as possible of the action taken by these Authorities, Tables have been constructed which show what is their present practice in this connection. These tables may be found in Appendix 5. It will be seen from an examination of them that of the 322 Authorities which have supplied information, 154 have retained all children under five, whereas 74 others, who have partially excluded them, have only done so on account of lack of accommodation or staff. Of the whole number, 290 Authorities, or about nine-tenths of the whole, have either wholly or partially retained younger infants in school. The Committee, however, are

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aware of the danger of drawing too hasty a generalisation from these returns, as it seems clear that in many cases children under five have been retained because the Authority gained financially by this policy. In other cases, too, it seems probable that the children have been retained simply because such a policy has become traditional. In both these cases, therefore, it would be unfair to argue that the Authority had retained the children solely because they thought it better for the children. At the same time, it would be equally unfair to argue that the Authority persisted, for their own convenience, in a course which they thought harmful to the children. The Committee think, therefore, that, on the whole it is safe to say that the majority of the Authorities favour the retention of younger infants at school; but they have given full tables to enable the Board to judge for themselves the ground on which this conclusion is based.

8. Practical Application of the Committee's Views

The Committee think that they have now established their contention that there are many children in this country for whose education some public provision should be made between the ages of three and five. They came to this conclusion, in the first instance, by exhausting the possible alternative methods for dealing with these children, and they showed that so far as they could judge, the objections urged against the attendance of such younger children at school were not valid provided that the school were organised on proper lines. They then showed that their opinion was to a large extent supported by the practice of other countries, and also that the majority of Local Education Authorities in England and Wales have thought it right to continue to provide for younger infants since the time when the Board of Education allowed them to decide the question for themselves. The Committee will take it for granted, therefore, for their present purpose, that the general principles underlying the whole matter have been established. It still remains for them to consider how these principles should be applied, and whether there are any circumstances, financial or otherwise, which make it advisable or necessary to modify them in actual practice.

(a) The School Attendance of Younger Infants a Matter for the Local Education Authority, subject to Appeal to the Board of Education

In the first place, the Committee would agree that the Local Education Authority of each area should be able to form a good judgment as to the number of younger infants in the area for whom nursery school provision should be made, and the amount and the situation of the accommodation which is necessary for them. The Committee see no reason, therefore, why in the first

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instance the Authorities should not retain the discretion in this matter which they now possess. But the Committee think that should an Authority decide to restrict the nursery school accommodation, or to provide no such accommodation at all, in any school area, an appeal should lie to the Board of Education against their decision. Such an appeal might be brought by the district or parish council concerned, if any, or by any ten parents of younger infants who wished to send their children to a nursery school, but were unable to do so owing to the absence of such accommodation. In case of such an appeal, one of H.M. Inspectors should be directed to hold a public local inquiry into the necessity of such school accommodation. During the course of such an inquiry the new arrangements for medical inspection would probably enable the Board to obtain valuable information as to the hygienic and general home conditions of any district. If, as the result of the inquiry, the Board should be satisfied, on educational, physical, or social grounds, that the children of any particular district were better at school, the Committee would recommend that they should use their powers to see that the school accommodation in that district was sufficient for the purpose, and that as far as possible nursery schools or classes organised on the lines laid down by the Committee were provided to meet the local requirements.

(b) The Amount of School Accommodation Required for Younger Infants

In considering the actual amount of such school accommodation, it will be necessary for the Local Authority, or the Board of Education, as the case may be, to consider the industrial and social conditions of the area, and the proportion of children under five years the conditions of whose homes are unsatisfactory. It is impossible to give any estimate of what this proportion will be in any given area as the circumstances of various localities will differ widely. The Committee consider, however, that the practical application of their general principles will result approximately in the following general rules:

(i) Urban Areas

In the greater part of most towns and urban areas, that is, in districts where it is obvious that there are a large number of imperfect homes, the majority of children who will eventually attend an elementary school should be regarded as eligible for admission when they are three years old, and the provision made for them should approximate in its general character to the nursery school described in this report. Should it happen that in any urban area or in any part of an urban area, the general nature of the homes made the need for such provision less obvious, the Local Education Authority should be at liberty to reduce it in amount, or abolish it altogether, subject to an appeal to the Board as suggested above.

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(ii) Rural Areas

In country districts there are more practical difficulties in the application of the Committee's recommendations. It is true that the children have greater opportunities of being in the open air, that on the whole the amount of female labour is smaller, and that the proportion of children, therefore, for whom some public provision must be made will be smaller. But even so, there are, of course, amongst the agricultural classes, many homes whose conditions are imperfect, and it would follow, from a strict application of the Committee's principles, that some provision should be made for the younger children from such homes. The special difficulty that arises in this connection, however, is that there are often so few of these infants in the area served by any one school. In such a case, while the claims of the individual children are perfectly valid, it is difficult to know how to meet them. The cost of making separate and special provision for them at school is practically prohibitive. Yet, in the absence of such special provision, their attendance at school is likely to do more harm than good, not only to themselves, but to the older children in whose class-room they are taught. This conclusion is borne out not only by witnesses who appeared before the Committee, but also by the report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration. Clause 307 of the Report contained the following sentence: "Infant schools, as conducted in urban districts, can no doubt be worked to the great physical advantage of the children attending them, but there is evidence that a handful of small children in a rural school necessarily suffer a good deal from neglect, or are taught under conditions from which no advantage can be derived". So persuaded were the Inter-Departmental Committee of the evil effects which might result from sending small children to rural schools that they recommended that school attendance in rural districts "should be discouraged, if not absolutely prohibited, under five". The Consultative Committee entirely agree that young children must not be sent to unsuitable schools, and they are constrained to admit that in many country districts not only are the infants' schools unsuitable, but also that it would be unreasonable to demand the provision of suitable ones. In such districts, therefore, they feel that in spite of the fact that there may be a few children who are not properly cared for at home, the Education Authority can hardly be compelled to provide for them. These children, however, are not without claims upon the community, and the Committee venture to express the opinion that it might perhaps be possible to deal with them by voluntary effort.

It should, however, be clearly understood that these remarks only apply to those country districts where the population is small or scattered. In many areas which are completely rural in their general character there will be found large compact villages and small country towns where the total number of younger infants from imperfect homes is sufficiently large to

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justify the Local Authority in maintaining a nursery school. The Committee do not think, therefore, that a County Authority should exclude children under five from all schools in their area without discrimination. They think rather that the case of each school and of each parish should be considered on its merits, and that in case of appeal the Board should be very careful about allowing the exclusion of younger infants in those parts of the country where the population is sufficiently concentrated to suggest that a nursery school might be at once practicable and necessary.

It should be added that the Committee do not consider that this recommendation clashes with the conclusions of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration, so far as rural schools are concerned. It seems quite clear, on referring to the evidence upon which these conclusions were founded, that the Inter-Departmental Committee based them upon the assumption that in most rural schools the premises and curriculum and general methods of teaching were quite unsuited for very young children, and that in the great bulk of country districts, if the children stayed away from school, the mothers were always at home to feed and care for them. The Committee did not explicitly condemn the attendance of young rural children at properly equipped schools, nor is there anything in their report which makes it probable that they would have done so in the case of the children under consideration.

9. Financial Aspects of the Question

It will be noted that the Committee have, with one obvious exception, refrained so far from referring to the financial aspect of the problem before them. They have done this intentionally in the belief that it would tend to greater clearness if in the first instance they isolated the social and educational points of view. They were anxious to see plainly in the first instance whether there really were children for whom, under the existing social conditions, it appeared necessary or advisable for the State to make some public provision. They saw that there were, and they then proceeded to sketch out the ideal method for the State to make such provision. They are, however, fully aware of the important influence which finance must inevitably exert on all educational questions, and of the uselessness of making recommendations to which there must always be insuperable financial objections, They must now consider, therefore, whether the recommendations which they have made are open to such objections.

Assuming for the moment that no special arrangements for younger infants are required beyond those laid down in the present Code, it should be noted that the financial result of the exclusion or admission of children under five is not obvious, nor is it uniform in different districts. There are, for instance, county areas where the average rural school is a small one,

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and where the exclusion of younger infants - i.e. on an average, about 7 per cent of the children in average attendance - would not enable the Authority to make any reduction in the staff. The only saving which would be effected would be a very small one for apparatus and materials, all the expenses of administration, interest on loans, staff, cleaning, etc., remaining the same. In such a case, therefore, the exclusion of children under five would result in a considerable financial loss to the Authority, which would lose the grant and effect no compensating economies. As an actual instance the Committee were informed by one County Authority that they estimated that the exclusion of these children was costing them 21,000 a year, and many other Authorities have stated that they gained financially by retaining them in their schools.

On the other hand, in towns and areas where the population is growing, and where the school accommodation is insufficient for the needs of all the children between three and fifteen, the exclusion of children under five will in many cases enable either the Authority or the managers of non-provided schools to avoid the enlargement of existing schools or the building of new ones. In such cases it must be admitted that the admission of children to school below five will result in a nett increase of cost, and it will often happen that growing towns are just the places where there may be most children needing Nursery Schools.

While, therefore, it is clear that some Local Education Authorities would gain financially under present conditions by the exclusion of children under five, and that others would lose, it is impossible to estimate either the number which would fall into each class or the extent of their profit or loss. To estimate the monetary advantage or disadvantage even in a single county would be very laborious, and would necessitate a large amount of minute and detailed information which the Committee do not possess.

It is equally impossible to give, in detail, an estimate of the financial results which would follow upon the adoption of the Committee's recommendations. The quantity and quality of the school accommodation already existing for the reception or younger infants, the number of children now at school who would be refused further admission, and the number now at home who would be allowed to attend, the increase or reduction of the staff consequent upon these changes - all these facts would differ in every locality, almost in every school, and make it impossible to estimate their cumulative effect in the area of any one Authority without the collection of detailed and complex information which the Committee have no means of acquiring. The Committee are compelled, therefore, to fall back upon a somewhat wider generalisation.

It would appear that in towns where the accommodation for younger infants is already sufficient and adequate, and where as a whole the right children are now in attendance, there would follow no increased expenditure and no diminution of grant. In

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other districts, where the right children as a whole were in attendance, but where their accommodation was insufficient or inadequate, there would be no diminution of grant, but an increase in expenditure would be required in order to bring the school accommodation up to the required level. In rural areas with scattered populations, the new scheme would not entail any increased expenditure, though, on the other hand, owing to the exclusion of some of the children, it would involve a somewhat diminished grant. In those districts, where some of the children now at school should be at home, and where the accommodation for the remainder requires improvement, there will be both an increase in expenditure and a diminution of grant. Lastly, within and between these four general categories there will be every possible variation of greater or less financial loss or gain.

While, therefore, the Committee cannot calculate for any one area, or even for all school areas as a whole, the exact financial effect of their recommendations, they must admit that in many cases they will entail either an increase of expenditure or a diminution of income, or both. But as regards those cases where an increase of expenditure is involved, the Committee would point out that their recommendations do not go beyond what in actual practice has been found to be possible in the areas of certain Authorities, and they see no reason why the progress which has been made in these areas should not gradually lead to the adoption of a similar standard elsewhere.

Improved premises, improved equipment, improved teachers, will be costly, but the additional cost is not likely to be prohibitive when a sufficient number of children are benefited. If the Committee are right in supposing that certain children are educationally the better for their attendance at school under five, such attendance will secure a better return for the outlay upon their subsequent career at school. The total cost of their education may be somewhat greater, but, on the other hand, a greater proportional advantage is secured.

As to the cases where their recommendations involve a diminution of grant, the Committee can only say that if it is agreed that certain children ought not to be at school, the State ought not to be asked to pay grants in respect of their attendance. The question ought to be considered on its own merits, apart from its financial effects. Should it happen that the actual result of applying this rule in any area was to bring about an unduly heavy education rate, and should it be agreed that relief ought to be afforded to such an area, it would seem preferable that such relief should be given after consideration of the education expenditure as a whole, and not merely in view of a decrease in one special branch of income. It follows that the Committee are unable to recommend the proposal made in the second half of the Board's reference. They strongly deprecate the exclusion of younger infants being decided with a view to a greater or less amount being paid in grants by the Board, and

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they think that any system is undesirable by which, even in a district where a certain proportion of such children might properly be excluded on other grounds, the moneys now payable by the Board of Education in the shape of grants in respect of the attendance of such children should still be payable to Local Education Authorities in greater relief of their expenditure in educating the children over five years of age. The Committee cannot but be aware that in many districts the education rate is not popular, and they fear that in some of the areas where the result of such a plan would be of financial advantage to the Local Education Authority, they would not be able to resist the pressure brought to bear on them to accept it. The Committee cannot therefore recommend the adoption of a scheme which might tend to the solution of a serious national problem on grounds of immediate self-interest.*

10. The Place of the Nursery School in the Educational System

The Committee have found it convenient to assume above that Nursery Schools should, as a rule, be attached to Public Elementary Schools and come under the control of the Local Education Authority, instead of being organised as separate institutions. The Committee's reasons for recommending the former alternative are as follows:

(i) It is less costly.†

(ii) The younger infants can more conveniently be taken to their classes if they are in the same building as their elder brothers and sisters.

(iii) Something more than mere nursing is needed for such children. Though special methods are necessary, yet the training should be, in the proper sense, educational, and should therefore be under the supervision of the general Education Authority.

(iv) If the children have already been grouped in classes before they reach the age of five, it will be easier to arrange for their preparation for the classes in the upper school, and for their transference to them at the right period of their development.

(v) A well-organised nursery school will have a very beneficial effect upon the teaching and curriculum of the lower classes in the school to which it is attached.

*It should, perhaps, be added that this paragraph was written before the "Memorandum on the Financial Proposals in connection with the Education Bill, 1908", was published by the Board. Should this Bill become Law, and should these Financial Proposals be carried out, the financial effects of excluding younger infants in future from school would of course have to be calculated from different data.

†But see Appendix 6 as to this.

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While, however, the Committee consider that the national duty of providing for the education of younger infants falls more properly and more conveniently upon the Local Education Authorities than upon any other local bodies, they must not be taken to imply that there is no place for private effort in this connection. On the contrary, they consider that private institutions such as crèches or kindergartens might often form a useful link in the educational system of certain areas, especially of those where it might be unreasonable to compel the Authority to provide a nursery school. Such institutions, however, ought to conform to certain conditions. They should be made subject to some form of public inspection; they should be educational in the same way and to the same extent as the nursery school; they should be so situated, when possible, that the children who attend them can be brought and fetched by their elder brothers and sisters on their way to and from school; and, lastly, they should he worked in harmony with the local schools, so that the transition from them to the public elementary school may be as easy for the children as possible. It does not appear that there are many such institutions in this country. But where they exist they can be made to serve a useful function. In fact, the Committee would go further, and say that, if they are conducted with the consent and approval of the Local Education Authority, there is no reason why they should not be assisted by the receipt of public grants.

11. The Lower Limit of Age for Voluntary and Compulsory Attendance at School

The Committee have hitherto confined their remarks to children between the stated ages of three and five, because under the present state of the law these children are the only ones about whose attendance at school there is any option. Younger children are not allowed to attend and older children are not allowed to stay away. The only period of childhood, therefore, during which either the Local Education Authority or the parent has at present any discretion as to school attendance is the period between three and five, and the Committee have thought it convenient to deal with this debatable period first. They understand, however, from the terms of the reference from the Board of Education, in which the lower age limit is explicitly left somewhat vague, that they are asked to express an opinion as to the ideal age at which children should first begin to attend school. It will now be necessary, therefore, for them to state their views on this subject.

As already stated, there are practically two lower age limits for school attendance in England, one for voluntary attendance and one for compulsory. It will be convenient to discuss these separately, and to deal with the latter first.

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It may be stated at once that, in view of the age at which most children leave school, and of the comparative shortness of the average school career, the Committee consider that it would not be wise to raise the existing lower limit of compulsory attendance. The total period of compulsory attendance at school is none too long as it is; in fact, it is probably too short, and any curtailment of it might easily lead to the increase of "cramming" methods. Unless, therefore, the minimum age at which children could obtain exemption from school attendance were raised, the Committee would be opposed to raising the lower limit of compulsory attendance.

Were the age for legal exemption from school attendance, however, raised, say by one year, the Committee would agree, not that the general age for compulsory attendance should be six instead of five, but that Local Education Authorities should have power to make bye-laws (subject, of course, to the approval of the Board of Education) exempting children between five and six from school attendance under stated conditions. The Committee, in fact, would give to a Local Authority at the beginning of a child's career the discretion which they now exercise at the end of it, and they would do this in the belief that at least a certain number of children who now remain under their mothers' care, to their great advantage, till their fifth year, might, with the approval of the Local Education Authority, remain there with equal advantage for another year. Such children would be a small minority and would only be found as a rule in country districts or in the best parts of towns. But though they are comparatively small in numbers the claim is not unreasonable, and the Committee would approve of any legislation which made it possible. It may be pointed out here that if some such system were adopted a certain number of school places now used by children between five and six years of age, who might well be left at home, would be freed, and the burden of school provision would be somewhat lightened.

As regards the lower age limit for voluntary attendance, it is worth noticing that although a majority of Local Authorities, and, so far as the Committee can judge, a majority of teachers prefer the age of three, yet there are a certain number of both who would compromise and adopt four as the lower limit. To this compromise, however, the Committee do not agree. Children of any given age will, no doubt, vary greatly in their general development, and no doubt there are cases of children who at three years of age are not fitted to go to school. But the Committee believe that the majority of the children for whom provision is to be made at all are sufficiently developed at three years of age to attend a nursery school, and that at least the option of attending at that age should be given.

It may he urged that the first three years of a child's life are the most critical of all, and that if the State acknowledges the duty of providing care and training for certain children after the age of three, there is even greater reason for extend-

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ing that care to children below that age. As to the permanent effect of proper care during the first three years of life, the Committee entirely agree. It will probably be agreed, however, that, though it may be difficult to fix the time at which a child should pass from the nursery, pure and simple, to the nursery school, that time does not occur before a child's third birthday. The question, therefore, is in no sense a school question, and consequently the discussion of it lies outside the Committee's province. They would like, however, to record their conviction that the improved treatment of such children depends almost entirely upon the improved conditions of their homes, and this opinion strengthens them in urging that in making provision for children over three, nothing should be done which might arrest the development of the idea that the best place for all children under five is a good home.

The Committee would like to add here that, though they have been dealing throughout this Report with children under the age of five, they do not wish it to be understood that their recommendations are not intended to apply to any children beyond that age. On the contrary, they wish to make it quite clear that artificial restrictions should not be placed on the classification of scholars which ought to depend on physical and mental capacity.

It seems also desirable to point out that the labour of school registration would be reduced if, in dealing with the age at which, under normal conditions, a child should leave the Nursery School, a child who will reach the age of five within the first six months of the school year might be regarded as having reached the age of five at the beginning of the year, while a child who will reach the age of five in the last six months might be regarded as reaching the age of five at the close of the year. In any case, it is essential that classification should depend on capacity, and desirable that registration should follow classification and not be determined by the age of the scholar.

12. Conclusion

During the whole of their consideration of the question which the Board referred to them, the Committee have endeavoured to give full weight both to practical and theoretical considerations. They feel that much of the discussion of the problem in recent years has been obscured by treating it too much as a matter of theory. It appears to them to be useless to discuss in general terms whether children under five years of age should attend school. The practical issue is rather whether any of these children should attend school, and, if so, what kind of school. It is necessary to admit that the ideal system of home education for very young children is far from being universally attainable in this country at present. The condition of English working-class life must be taken as it is found. It would be fatal to ignore this, and to insist prematurely on the general adoption of a system which, however desirable in theory, is

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suited only to those parts of the community where the industrial and social conditions are in an unusually advanced state. In most districts the improvement of these conditions, and the improvement of public policy as regards the education of younger infants must go hand in hand. The work and influence of good Nursery Schools, combined with improvements in the course of education provided for older girls, will do much to foster a truer and better tradition of home life, which in turn will enable Education Authorities to leave the education of these young children more and more to their parents.

For the present the Committee consider that nursery schools are in many cases a practical necessity. They believe that great advantages may be secured by their proper use, and that any effort that may be directed to this end will be amply repaid in the improved healthiness, intelligence, and happiness of future generations.

The Committee would like to add that they regard this question which has been referred to them as one of the highest importance under the present conditions of English working class life, on social, hygienic, and educational grounds alike.

13. Recommendations

The recommendations of the Committee may now be summed up as follows:

(1) The proper place for a child between three and five is, of course, at home with its mother, provided that the home conditions are satisfactory in the sense defined by the Committee at the beginning of this Report (see page 16).

(2) Under existing economic conditions, however, the home surroundings of large numbers of children who attend elementary schools are not satisfactory in this sense, and children from these homes should be sent during the daytime to places specially intended for their training (see pages 16 to 18).

(3) The Committee consider that the best place for this purpose is a Nursery School such as is described in the body of the Report. On the grounds of educational advantages, economy, and convenience of administration the Committee consider that, so far as provision by a public authority is concerned , such nursery schools should, as a rule, be attached to Public Elementary Schools. Private institutions, however, if under public inspection, are desirable in certain circumstances and under certain conditions (see pages 20, 53 and 54).

(4) With respect to children under five who are admitted to school, it is essential that they should not be subjected to any mental pressure or undue physical discipline, and that the premises in which they are trained should be roomy, and well lighted, warmed, and ventilated (see pages 20, 21, 22, and 33).

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(5) Formal lessons in reading, writing, and arithmetic should be rigidly excluded from the curriculum of younger infants, and also everything that requires prolonged complex operations of the nervous or muscular systems. Freedom of movement, constant change of occupation, frequent visits to the playground, and opportunities for sleep, are essential (see page 21).

(6) In assessing the amount of school accommodation necessary for the many younger infants for whom public provision should be made, the industrial and social conditions of the area should be considered, so that no obstacle should be raised to the admission of children whose home conditions are not yet satisfactory in the sense defined by the Committee (see page 48).

(7) The Local Authority in the first instance should estimate the number of children for whom nursery school accommodation ought to be provided, and see that the required provision is made. Should the Authority, however, desire to restrict the accommodation, an appeal, to be made either by parents or by minor authorities, should lie against their decision to the Board of Education (see pages 47 and 48).

(8) In the greater part of most towns and urban areas the majority of children who will eventually attend an elementary school should be regarded as eligible for admission to nursery schools when they are three years old. In some country districts where the population is small and scattered, the Authority could hardly be compelled to make such provision owing to the prohibitive cost. Each case, however, should he considered on its merits, and younger infants should not be excluded where the population is sufficiently concentrated to make a nursery school practicable and necessary. On the other hand, younger infants must not be admitted to school where their presence interferes with the instruction of older children (see pages 48 to 50).

(9) The educational care of younger infants presents difficulties at least equal to those which arise in teaching older children, and the teachers for them should be selected with scrupulous care. The best teacher will be one who has made a careful study of the physical and mental development of childhood, and who has a sympathetic and motherly instinct and a bright and vigorous personality (see pages 22-24).

In view of the extreme importance of training children in cleanly habits at an early age, nurse-attendants or school-helps should be provided, if possible, to attend to the general physical needs of the children (see pages 23 and 32).

Such attendants, however, must be in addition to, and not in place of, the teacher.

(10) The present size of infants' classes should be reduced. No teacher should be put in sole charge of more than 30 younger infants at once. A teacher, however, who had the assistance of a school-help might be allowed a rather larger class (see pages 23 and 24).

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(11) In order that existing teachers who have not received any instruction in the best methods of dealing with young children may become acquainted with the general object of those methods, the Committee would recommend that the Board of Education should bring to the notice of teachers, Local Education Authorities, and Inspectors, either by means of more explicit directions in the Code or by a special circular of suggestions, the necessity for dealing with very young children on special lines. The process of enlightenment would also be much accelerated if local Inspectors as well as His Majesty's Inspectors were asked to bear the matter specially in mind and to bring to the notice of the Board any cases where the mental development of young children was being retarded by faulty methods (see pages 34, 35).

Local Authorities should also be recommended to arrange classes where Kindergarten methods are taught, and to give their teachers the option of attending them.

As regards future teachers who will qualify themselves for recognition by taking the Board's Certificate Examination, the Committee recommend that some knowledge of the special methods and curricula suitable for younger infants and of the physical conditions of young children in health and disease be required from all candidates at this Examination. This suggestion could be met by a short addition to the Syllabus of that Examination (see page 23).

The Committee believe that by some such procedure the teaching, both of the younger infants and of the older infants and of the lowest classes in the upper school, will become not only more appropriate, but also more uniform and continuous, and that children who are promoted from one class to another will not in future he checked by altered methods of instruction, as is often the case at present.

(12) As regards premises, financial considerations may prevent the immediate or universal construction of Nursery Schools. But the Committee do not think it is impracticable to demand a great improvement in the near future. All new buildings for infants should be framed on the lines suggested in the body of the Report. In the case of existing buildings an effort should be made to improve them as quickly as possible so that at least the proper amount of light, ventilation, and space is secured. Galleries, where they still remain, should be abolished at once. Heavy desks should also give place to light chairs and tables, and generally any unsuitable equipment should be replaced by more appropriate apparatus as early as possible (see pages 20, 21 and 22).

(13) It is impossible entirely to eliminate the financial aspect of the question*. Under any system of grants, there must be some financial advantage or disadvantage in admitting or excluding children under five. In order, however, to free Local Education Authorities from financial influences and restraints

* See footnote * on page 53.

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as far as possible, and to enable them to deal with the question on purely educational grounds, the Committee make the following special recommendations:

(a) The rate of annual grant for infants should be raised so as to equal that for older scholars. If this cannot be done, owing to the increased cost, infants and older scholars should at least be paid for at the same rate per head, the actual amount of the rate being such that, while no additional charge would he placed on the Imperial Exchequer, as few Local Education Authorities as possible would receive a smaller aggregate grant than at present. If this also is impossible, the Committee would recommend as an alternative that the higher grant of 22s. should begin to be given to children, not when they are promoted to the upper school, but when they reach a certain age. They believe that by this means the main inducement to subject young children to mental over-pressure would be removed (see page 35).

(b) The Board of Education should consider whether it would not be advisable to revert to the system by which grants were formerly paid in respect of individual children, who, to prevent infection, were temporarily excluded from school attendance by medical advice (see page 35).

(14) The Committee do not recommend any change at present in the lower age limit either of voluntary or compulsory attendance at school (see page 54).

(15) Lastly, the Committee strongly recommend that the Board of Education should appoint a body of experts to make a thorough and conclusive inquiry into the question of the impurity of the air in public Elementary Schools, and the best methods of heating and ventilation (see pages 27-30 and 254- 255).

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NOTICE. The following summaries represent the whole of the evidence given orally to the Committee. They have in every case been submitted to the witnesses for correction and approval. Beyond arranging them as far as possible on a uniform system, the Committee have not edited them in any way.

The following short explanation of the manner in which the witnesses were selected seems necessary as a guide to the conclusions which may legitimately be drawn from their evidence.

At the beginning of their inquiry the Committee invited certain witnesses to appear before them. These witnesses they selected solely on the grounds of their position and experience. At the same time they issued their inquiry form to Local Education Authorities. It so happened that the oral evidence which they heard first was all in favour of the retention of younger infants in school, and the replies of the authorities showed that the large majority of them supported the same policy. Many of these replies were based upon reports drawn up after careful inquiry by local medical officers, and furnished the Committee with a strong body of evidence in favour of the retention of these children at school. The Committee, however, were of course aware that other experts, both educational and medical, took a different view, and in selecting their other witnesses, therefore, they took special care to invite persons who would lay the other side of the question before them. It was for this reason that, for instance, they sought the evidence of Dr. Newsholme; of three representatives from Local Authorities who were known to have excluded all younger infants from their schools; and, lastly, of the witnesses from Scotland.


I. (a) Dr. Kerr and Dr. Hogarth, Medical Officers of the Education Department of the London County Council

1. Considerations bearing upon Health

(a) Infectious Diseases. The only infectious diseases which need be considered in this connection are measles and whooping-cough, these being the only ones to which children under five are more liable than older children.

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Measles. Attendance at school makes little difference; about 50 per cent got it before arriving at school age, and the rest mostly before leaving the infants' school. At the best it would be only postponed a year or two. The serious part of the disease is the after effects, and in this respect it is better that the children should be at school, since they are bound to be examined on returning after the illness, and they will receive attention which they would not get at home, parents generally attaching no importance to Measles.

Whooping Cough. Does not occur to a great extent in schools, and deaths from it are practically confined to children of two or three years of age. It may be neglected for this purpose.

Attendance at school does very little to increase either Measles or Whooping Cough. Of course, it is always possible that children may carry the infection from school to home, but this is not a very serious matter; certainly not so serious as to make it necessary to exclude children under five on that account.

(b) General Health. The effect of school attendance on children under five depends upon what is meant by "school". In most foreign countries attendance is not compulsory until about six; but before that there is provision of another kind.

Children enter school at three fairly well developed in many ways; hearing and vision are as good as they ever will be, but the reasoning power is not developed, and this is what the school is for; left at home it will not develop to any such extent. On the other hand, by attendance at school children are deprived of many things, sleep, for example, which so many of them need, and it becomes simply a question which is the better in individual cases - the school or the home; in the majority of cases in London the school is decidedly the better. Children want sleep during the day generally until they are three or four years old, and some provision for this in school is very desirable.

A great deal of good can be done by bringing children under medical supervision at an early age, and many defects which have their origin before the age of five could be remedied if the children were under medical supervision in school. Defects of vision and ear diseases - the latter often leading to death - are examples. About 30 per cent of the children want some medical treatment to bring them into normal condition and this they would not get at home. In schools at present the teachers would not inevitably notice these things, but they are much more likely to be seen and attended to than would be the case at home.

Eye defects are not as a rule due to school work at all; but children who cannot see properly sometimes suffer severely because of being misunderstood and punished. The same applies to deaf children. Both these things would be detected under proper medical inspection; if the children are not at school the opportunity is lost.

Many children not properly cared for acquire the habit of

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breathing through the mouth, with very evil effects. The liability to ear disease is 12 to 14 times greater in "mouth-breathers" than in others.

The question of overpressure has been rather exaggerated. Practically it does not exist in infants' schools, except in the case of children with defects to start with - children highly nervous or badly nourished - for whom the work is too much. At the same time much of the instruction now given is, without doubt, unsuitable.

In the case of physically defective children more can be done by medical inspection between three and five years of age than at any other age. As a rule where, on the general question, the exclusion of children at these ages has been recommended on hygienic grounds it is because the medical officer has not given proper consideration to the matter. If they are excluded a serious state of things will arise in a very short time, and it will become absolutely necessary to consider what other provision is to be made for them. Some provision must be made for the children of the poorer parents, and it will be much more costly than the present form. The children will require skilled attention, for to keep them simply sitting round a table doing nothing would be the most pernicious thing that could happen; and if crèches are to be provided, they must be small - to accommodate not more than two dozen children.

(c) Rheumatism, Chorea, etc.* Rheumatism, though present, is often not obvious to untrained observers, in very young children. Chorea would be detected; it is not necessarily due to overpressure. No doubt there is a danger of children contracting rheumatism through attending school in all weathers; and in some European countries, facilities are provided at school for drying clothes, etc. Improvements or this sort will come in England when there is proper medical inspection. However, under present conditions it would be useless to exclude children from school on this account, because if they do not attend school they will get still more wet in the streets.

2. Educational Considerations

In the case or normal children more good can be done by education between the ages three and five than at any subsequent period of two years; and experience shows that attendance at school before five, even under present conditions, undoubtedly helps in the great majority of cases the subsequent education. Where the children are in good homes, they are probably better there than in large classes at school; a good home presupposes an intelligent mother. But, even so, few mothers realise the

*This paragraph referred to school children of all ages, not particularly to those under 5 years. The information was chiefly elicited upon a side issue with regard to the medical inspection of all school children. J.K., A.H.H.

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educational importance of these two years; and a great many children in London have not good and comfortable homes, where provision can be made for their being well looked after.

3. Proper Conditions

(a) Curriculum. The curriculum should be drawn on as broad lines as possible, without any kind of restraint. Play is the best way of educating young children - let them follow their natural instincts as in the nursery, and let this principle be carried out as far as possible in school. Above all, avoid any idea of enforcing discipline. Fine muscular movements (as of the eye or fingers in reading, writing, or sewing, etc.) should be postponed until the child has obtained a fuller control over its muscles. Writing and sewing are especially bad; but the child will learn its letters without books. Drill is very important, and should consist of "coarse" movements, as contrasted with the "fine" movements mentioned above. "Organised Games" can be made into a very severe lesson; their value is much exaggerated.

(b) Teachers. The importance of teachers being specially trained to teach "baby classes" in accordance with such a curriculum should be borne in mind.

I. (b) Dr. Kerr and Dr. Thomas

Dr. Kerr subsequently attended another meeting of the Consultative Committee with Dr. C. J. Thomas, another Medical Officer of the Education Department of the London County Council, and gave the following evidence on the ventilation, etc., of schools:

1. Cases of Vitiated Atmosphere

Experiments have recently been made in certain Public Elementary Schools in London by the Medical Department of the London Education Committee with the object of determining the causes and extent of school fatigue. When the experiments commenced, the amount of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere was relied upon entirely as being an accurate index of impurities, and to some extent it can still be considered an index. But it has now been determined that carbon dioxide is not the cause of physical detriment or fatigue, despite the fact that the amount of it in the air in school-rooms is sometimes as high us 20 or 30 volumes per 10,000, and has oven been found as high as 38. At one time it was thought to be necessary to impose some legal restrictions to prevent the carbon dioxide ever exceeding 10 volumes per 10,000; but, while such a regulation would still be desirable, there is no longer any scientific basis for it. The factors of greatest importance are temperature, moisture, and the micro-organisms that carry infection. The third of these has not been thoroughly investigated yet; but there are indications from the ways in which infection spreads that it is a very important factor.

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2. Temperature and Humidity

(a) Heat. Professor Haldane has established the fact that there is a degree of heat at which work is impossible. In a saturated atmosphere this point is about 89° Fahr. With an atmosphere which is not saturated, the sensation of fatigue is felt at about 65°, and above 70° becomes quite marked. There are, however, great variations in the amount of vapour present in the air of different schools, and the greater the moisture the more pronounced are the effects of high temperature.

(b) Humidity. The principal cause of moisture in classrooms is the excretion of moisture by the children, and the fact that the air is not changed sufficiently to remove it.

In making the experiments it was impossible to get warm air thoroughly saturated because of the danger of causing harm to the children. One experiment however, was made on a foggy day in a mechanically ventilated school. In consequence of the fog the air outside was saturated, and the windows being opened, the air inside quickly became saturated too, but at the same time the temperature fell (from 72° to 66°). The results showed that with the air saturated, but the temperature low, there was no very great interference with the work. Another day a higher temperature was obtained, but without saturation, and on this occasion there was much greater interference with the work. It appears therefore that humidity alone does not affect the work much; but it should be kept low because it increases the evil effect of a high temperature.

(c) Proper Temperature. The proper temperature for schools is taken to be about 58° Fahr. Meteorologists assume the temperature in average conditions to be about 62°. In the United States, Canada, and Germany, the temperature of schools is kept much higher than 58°. This is accounted for by the fact that in these places the people have become used to a high temperature in their dwelling-houses; the air also is drier than in this country.

(d) Cold. The children and the teachers would not stand an exceedingly low temperature, though it would not have the same effect on their work as a high temperature. Below 55° or 56°, however, the cold causes discomfort and a great interference with the sensations. This is very marked in Blind Schools, the children being unable to read their Braille. Poor feeding has a great deal to do with the children feeling the cold, and the clothing also in infants' schools is usually very thin. The infants are more scantily clad over the greater part of their bodies, and especially their limbs, than the older children, although they are much more sensitive to the cold.

3. Micro-organisms

This branch of the work has not been followed up so far, but no doubt it will be sooner or later. Dr. Haldane took it into consideration in his Dundee experiments; but if it were done now

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it would have to be done in a much more complicated way. Experiments in this direction might bring out the fact that particulate impurity of the air is very important. It may be, in fact, one of the most important factors, though there has not been any opportunity of working at it yet.

4. Condition of Children and their Clothes

It is quite certain that the condition of children and of their clothes affects the atmosphere; but at present this has only been determined by the evidence of smell. It is not shown by the carbon dioxide test. A microscopic investigation would probably be a test to some extent; but it is thought that the evil is not mainly due to micro-organisms, but to gaseous impurities. As a matter of fact, there probably would be more micro-organisms in a class of dirty children than in a class of clean ones; but this would not be a complete test of the air. There is not the least doubt that the dirty condition of children and their clothes does vitiate the atmosphere, and that such a condition of air injuriously affects the health. It does not affect the work; it is conditions producing heat retention which do that; but it would be just as injurious to health, though making itself felt in another way. It is also a grave evil in promoting infection. However, it is not in the neighbourhood of schools where the children generally are not clean that the greatest amount of infectious disease is found. On the contrary, it is rather the reverse, and for this reason: the clean children are those who have been taken care of in their homes, and because of this previous care they are more susceptible to the vitiated atmosphere of a badly ventilated school; a larger proportion of them also have been kept free from infectious diseases before coming to school, and are therefore more likely to get them when they come into contact with infection. The number of diseases which are not infectious, however, such as eye and ear diseases (which, of course, are much more grave in educational results than the ordinary infectious disease) is in direct ratio to the dirtiness of the children.

5. Dust

Dry sweeping of the class-rooms is bad because it scatters the dust about the room. It is customary to use wet sawdust; but sometimes this is impossible because there is not time to extricate the sawdust from about the furniture. The effect of dry sweeping is seen by observing the depth of dust on the tops of cupboards. In this dust it is always possible to find evidence of actual contamination from the children's clothes, and to grow the common germs. In reply to a question, witness said that the germs of measles had not been discovered in dust so collected. These germs are however, not yet recognisable except by their results in causing disease.

The practice of dusting the rooms shortly before the children enter does not give rise to much evil. It is usual to use dusters which have been damped with paraffin. In reply to questions,

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witness did think it necessary to place such dusters in boiling water immediately after use. He did not think that in ordinary conditions any danger was to be feared from micro-organisms being collected on the dusters and carried about the school.

In schools ventilated on the Plenum system there is only about half as much dust as in naturally ventilated schools. Dust might be lessened to some extent by surrounding the playground by a high wall. A great deal of dust, however, is brought in on the feet of the scholars. This might be prevented by the use of mats and scrapers. The schools are washed, as a rule, once in three weeks.

As regards the use of dustless oils (cotton-seed oil), they have been tried successfully in Germany. In England, where they have been tried, the principal objections seem to be that they make the floor look dirty (when, as a matter of fact, it is quite clean) and cause injury to the teachers' skirts. It has been suggested that they might be used only in the parts of the room where the desks are situated. Perhaps they have not been successful in this country because they have not been used properly. They should be rubbed into the floor about three weeks before the room is used.

6. Ventilation and Heating

(a) Need for good ventilation. It is only by means of adequate ventilation that the air of classrooms can be kept pure. Where the ventilation is insufficient the risk of infection is greatly increased, and explosive outbreaks of infectious disease occur. In order to keep the air pure, it is necessary to supply 2,000 cubic feet of fresh air per head per hour. The mechanical systems of ventilation in use in England do not, as a rule, nearly reach this standard. Ventilation is a matter of expense; and in London any system of ventilation by means of large air ducts, requiring considerable space, is, owing to the cost of land, very expensive.

(b) Carriage of Heat by Air. It has recently been discovered that the carriage of heat entirely by the air is bad. On this ground the Plenum system is to be criticised. With this system the air is driven by fans, through ducts, into the different classrooms, passing through a screen containing a certain amount of water, and afterwards being heated, the heating reducing the moisture. It passes through the classrooms and out of other ducts. The air enters the classrooms at a higher temperature than anything else in the room, and has an exhausting effect. Another disadvantage of this system is the difficulty of adjusting the ducts so as to get an equal volume to each room.

(c) Separate Ventilation and Heating. An adaptation of the Plenum system, by which the air was delivered unheated into the rooms and the heat supplied by radiators in the rooms themselves, would be a great improvement but would be very expensive. Witness did not know of any school where such an arrangement had been tried. He regarded it as the ideal system.

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(d) Radiator Heating with Natural Ventilation. The system of ventilating by means of inlets behind the radiators is deficient in the amount of heating and ventilation. The deficiency, however, is not very great, and the low temperature balances to some extent the want of ventilation. Radiators do not materially vitiate the atmosphere unless they are overheated.

(e) Heating by Gas. The heating of rooms by gas is very bad. It causes so great an amount of moisture that there is an actual deposit on the windows and walls. It also results in a large volume of carbon dioxide, an accumulation of dust, and other harmful conditions.

(f) Central Hall System. There are arguments against this system, but it is on the whole a very good one, and the one upon which large schools are now usually built. The ventilation is provided by inlets into the classrooms from outside, with ventilators into the central hall, and from the hall through the roof. The results depend largely upon the teachers.

(g) New Staffordshire System. A new type of school which has been devised in Staffordshire appears to be very satisfactory, though it has not had a very long trial yet. The building is the breadth of a single room, so that each room has two external walls. A verandah runs along the outside, there being no inside passage. The ventilation is entirely by through-draught. There are openings on each side of the room, with radiators placed over them. Ventilation depends upon wind and the drawing powers of the radiators. Schools built on this plan obviously require a great deal of space, and can therefore only be erected whore ground is cheap. Moreover the closed-in condition of large towns would interfere with the ventilation.

7. Space per Child and Number in Class

The determination of what minimum space per child should be allowed is affected by a good many circumstances. It depends on size of classes, height of room, window area for lighting purposes, and the fact that a large window space has a cooling effect on the air of the room. With a basis much beyond 10 square feet the classes would be unmanageably large. Twelve square feet is the outside that could be fixed as a minimum. A larger basis can be taken in secondary schools because the classes are not so large. In elementary schools, where the classes are big, a larger basis would add considerably to the cost; and a healthy class room, even for babies, can be built on the 12 square feet basis. The number in a room should not exceed 40 or 45. It would, of course, be better if it were possible to have fewer, and more space could then be allowed.

8. Baths*

The general principle of introducing baths into schools is

*See also Appendix 7.

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being brought forward in London. It has been agreed to put them in certain schools, and in one place they have already been in some time. It is very desirable, and quite possible, to arrange for the babies in school to be regularly bathed. If they were kept clean it would have a considerable effect on their after life. The cost would not be prohibitive. Such as it is, it will have to be faced. The washing of children is one of the most necessary things in connection with school hygiene. In any new school the Babies Room at least should be provided with a bath. It would probably be necessary for the teacher to have a helper. The children should be bathed at least once a week; they could be done all at once, and the time occupied would be about half an hour or twenty minutes. The great difficulty is the undressing and dressing; but where it has been tried the elder sisters from the upper department of the school have given assistance. Baths have been introduced in the Infants' Schools in Bradford, and in one school there (Wapping Road School) infants were being bathed every Friday half a dozen years ago.

In some London districts washing baths have been fitted up in connection with the swimming baths and have been used by the school children. The infants do not go to them; but there is no reason why they should not do so. Such an arrangement is cheaper than having baths built in the schools. The number of washing baths in London has recently been increased with the special object of providing for the school children; but the increase has not been on a large scale.

Spray baths are not unsuitable for young children provided the temperature of the water is high enough.

9. Premises and Apparatus

The witnesses gave their general approval to the suggestions made by the Committee as to premises and apparatus.

They thought the disinfecting of the sawdust used in sweeping rooms rather a counsel of perfection. Moreover, the use of disinfectant tends to make people think they have done all that is necessary, and also takes attention from more important things. It gives rise to the belief that having disinfected the floors, furniture, etc., sufficient has been done, whereas the real infecting agencies are the skin, noses, and clothes of the children. Bathing the children would be much more effective than disinfecting the rooms. Even then the clothes remain a danger, but one which can be limited by medical inspection and by diluting the air as much as possible by ventilation.

They agreed that it would be advisable to recommend net-beds instead of hammocks.

They did not think that green-boards had been proved to be better than black-boards; but thought the choice might be left open.

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II. Dr. G. Q. Lennane, Medical Officer of Health for Battersea

1. General

Witness stated, in reply to questions, that he had necessarily given a considerable amount of attention to the question of the attendance at school of children under five, as it very largely concerned his duties. In his capacity of Medical Officer of Health he frequently visits the schools, though there is another medical authority which is concerned entirely with the health of the schools. He has no direct connection with the School Medical Officers, but works in co-operation with them where necessary and possible.

The Battersea Sanitary District is divided in to three Registration Sub-Districts, two of which are occupied by a working class population. There is a good deal of employment of married women in laundries, and so on, though there is not a large number of factories, and female labour is not so general as in some places.

2. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

The consensus of opinion amongst Medical Officers of Health is in favour of excluding children from school until five; but it would be an increased advantage from the points of view of mental and physical development, and the prevention of the spread of infectious disease, if the age of admission were raised to six or even seven years.

The witness did not consider that attendance before five could be productive of real value from the educational point of view; his impression was that educational experts appeared to be largely opposed to the admission of children at so early an age, on grounds with which medical authorities are in consonance. He did not, however, quote any definite educational authorities in support of his impression.

Although attendance is not compulsory before the age of five, yet the number of children below this age in schools is considerable, and this state of things constitutes a serious blot on the educational methods of the country. Even in respect of the compulsory age England is behind most other countries. It is regrettable that the attempt made in 1905 to exclude the very young children was unsuccessful owing to the extreme opposition of employers and school authorities, who were interested in maintaining the present state of things - the former with a view to getting their employés [employees] at as early an age as possible, and the latter because of the loss of grant involved by exclusion.

To prevent both mental and physical deterioration, the closure of infants' schools should be enforced; and if the social and financial conditions of the community demand it, some other method of dealing with these children must be found, either by the provision of crèches or by other suitable arrangements for taking care of the children in the undesirable absence of their mothers.

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3. Considerations bearing upon Health

(a) General Health: The deleterious effect upon the health and development of the younger infants attending infants' schools owing to the discipline to which they are subjected is considerable. It is unnatural to subject a child of tender years to the enforced discipline and constrained postures to which it has to submit in school, especially in view of the overcrowded condition of such large classes as are common in London and elsewhere. The babies' classes often contain as many as 60 or 70 children, and the insanitary conditions which must necessarily prevail under such circumstances are an additional danger.

Theoretically, it may seem that when the homes are very poor young children would be better in school, but witness was inclined to think that in such cases children do not really take much harm in their homes, though the conditions are often very unsatisfactory; besides, they get out of doors more frequently than they would at school. As to the evils attendant upon children being left to themselves in the streets, he considered that they would receive far less damage running about in the open air than in being cooped up in schools.

With regard to the dangers arising from children being left uncared for when their mothers are out at work, witness did not think that there were a great many cases where they were left absolutely unattended. Generally a woman is paid to look after them, or they are left with a neighbour or a relative. As a rule, the women who are employed in this manner do their work fairly well, though there are some bad exceptions.

Witness agreed that the attendance of young children effects a considerable improvement in some cases in respect of cleanliness, and he thought that this was about the only advantage that could be adduced from such attendance. But even in this connection there is a corresponding disadvantage, for there are also a number of children attending school who are not in a cleanly condition, and the two classes of children are brought into contact in the same rooms.

(b) Infectious Disease: The overcrowded condition of the schools, especially of the infants' schools, where the material is highly susceptible, is bound to predispose children to take any infectious disease. Almost all the common infections are readily taken by children under five, and after this age the tendency enormously diminishes, and the danger to life also is greatly lessened.

The effect of the schools upon the spread or infection is evidenced by the sudden drop in the number or cases of notifiable disease during the summer holidays, and this is the more remarkable because it occurs during an upward tendency in the number of cases of these diseases, which continues again after the holidays, until it reaches its maximum in October. Witness did not think that the exodus from London during the summer holidays in connection with the Children's Holiday Fund had an important bearing upon this drop in the number of cases.

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In the first place, the people responsible for the fund take care, in selecting the children, not to take one from a house where there has been a recent case of infectious disease; and, secondly, the same tendency is seen in the provinces, where no such exodus occurs.

It has been shown, further, that in diphtheria, measles, and whooping cough there has been an increase in the incidence of mortality at ages from three to five since school attendance became general at that age period. There has also been an increase of incidence of mortality in the early years of life in measles and whooping cough, which is accountable, probably, to increased opportunity of infection, indirectly due to schools and to increased density of population. This does not, however, account for the relatively increased incidence on the ages three to five, as regards these two diseases, as well as in the case of diphtheria, and that this increase is the result of school aggregation seems the most likely explanation.

The experience of Berlin in respect of closure during the school holidays as regards diphtheria has been shown to be the same as that of London. What is more important still is that there is a greater relative incidence of mortality upon the ages three to five years in London than in Berlin, lending support to the view that diphtheria mortality is affected by the age at which compulsory attendance at school begins. In Berlin this age is the sixth year.

Witness stated that his experience in his own district is that infants' schools are largely responsible for the spread of infectious disease, more especially measles, whooping cough, and diphtheria, and, in a lesser degree, perhaps, scarlet fever.

Asked whether the attendance of children at school is an advantage as regards bringing cases to the notice of the Medical Officer of Health which otherwise would not be reported to him, witness stated that the schools were of very little use for this purpose as compared with his own inspectors.

As to how far infection would continue to spread if the younger children were excluded from school owing to such children still meeting school children in the streets, witness said that infection spreads less easily in the open air than in schools. He was quite satisfied that the infants' schools are a very powerful factor in spreading measles and whooping cough. As regards scarlet fever, the evidence is not so strong; but he thought that even in this case, if all children under five were excluded from school, the incidence of the disease would decrease, and instanced in support the fact that he has frequently found it necessary to close classrooms in infant departments on account of scarlet fever infection, the closures being invariably followed by a marked and immediate decrease in the number of cases notified in the area surrounding the particular school.

Scarlet Fever: As regards the effect in Battersea of the closure of schools for the summer holidays, in 1906 the weekly returns of the actual number of cases of scarlet fever notified for the nine weeks commencing with the last week in July were as

[page 73]

follows : 22, 23, 17, 12, 10, 25, 23, 38, 39. After this the numbers fall again, and continue low until February.

The number of cases of this disease is greatest in children above the age of five, and it is consequently not so clear what effect the attendance of younger infants has upon the spread of this disease. Witness, however, was of opinion that the same objections to the attendance of these children hold good in the case of this disease as in others, though possibly to a more limited extent.

Diphtheria: The number of cases of diphtheria in Battersea in 1906 among children from two to seven years of age which were directly attributable to school attendance were: Two - three, 1; three - four, 1; four - five, 10; five - seven, 59. Out of this total of 71 cases there were 10 deaths, showing a case-mortality of 14 per cent.

Above the age of seven the number of cases was: Seven - ten, 48; ten - fifteen, 31; fifteen plus, 2. The number of deaths among the 81 cases was three, a case-mortality of only 3.7 per cent.

Measles and Whooping Cough: In the two poorer districts of Battersea the incidence of these diseases is much greater, and the case-mortality much higher, than in the other district, where children do not as a rule attend school until five or later. In the better district deaths from either of these diseases are rarely met with. In answer to a question, witness said that he did not think that the difference could be due to a part of the area being low-lying; he did not consider that any part of Battersea was unhealthy.

From January to June, 1907, the number of ascertained cases of measles in Battersea was 1,489, and of the 1,151 cases in which the ages were given 53 were three years, 215 were four years, 570 were from five to seven years, and 313 were over seven. Of the deaths from this cause 96 per cent occurred under the age of five.

4. Crèches

The witness was not strongly in favour of crèches, but thought that they might be a possible means or dealing with the present social conditions. It is undesirable in every way to dispossess a child of its natural protector, and there would probably be much less illness if all young children were looked after by their mothers, But as this state of things is probably Utopian at present it may be necessary in some cases to make some provision, and the children would be better looked after in crèches than in schools, and would not be so crowded together nor subject to mental pressure and fatigue.

Asked whether the influence of crèches on the spread of infection would be as great as that of schools, witness was of opinion that although there would still be a tendency to aid the spread of infection, it would not be anything like so powerful as in schools, where the number of children in a class is often so

[page 74]

great, provided that the crèches were properly arranged. He would very strongly object to large crèches.

As to whether it would not be equally good to provide for the children in question in specially-equipped rooms in the schools for older scholars, witness said that he would not object to the nurseries being under the same organisation as the schools, but they must be in entirely separate buildings. The buildings should be specially arranged and built for the purpose, there should be more open floor and cubic space than is allowed in schools, and the children should have plenty of opportunities of going out into the open air, and a complete absence of teaching in the general acceptance of the term, with consequent mental pressure, strain, and fatigue.

III. Dr. J. Middleton Martin, Medical Officer of Health, Stroud

1. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

Under present conditions it is not desirable that children under six or seven should attend school; and whether or not they should be provided for in Nursery Schools depends on whether the environment of the latter is better than that of the home, which in turn depends to a certain extent on whether female labour is greatly in demand or not.

The practice of women going to work and leaving their children with other women, who take charge of about half-a-dozen, forming a most unsatisfactory type of crèche, is much to be deplored.

Children must be looked after in some way, but this is better done in their own homes than anywhere. It is necessary, therefore, to train the future mothers and fathers for their life's work, and until this is done very little can be achieved. With this object peripatetic teachers have been usefully employed in some places.

2. Considerations bearing upon Health

(a) Infectious Diseases. Measles: There can be no doubt that children under five years of age are extremely susceptible to measles; though it must be noted that in the statistics produced (see figures at the end of this evidence) no allowance has been made for older children rendered immune by having had the disease previously. The infection is more likely to spread when children are aggregated together in a room, where some of the air is bound to be breathed again and again, than when they meet only in the street. The fatality is very much greater in children render five than in those over that age; statistics produced showed that in the Stroud District in 1900 the deaths amongst school children from measles (excluding sequelæ) were wholly confined to children under five, the fatality in cases under five being at the rate of 61.8 per thousand.

Scarlet Fever and Diphtheria. The attack rate in school children under five in the Stroud District during the period

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1900-06 was only slightly greater than in those over five; but the death-rate was about 200 per cent greater in each disease for children under five than for children over five. Again there is no evidence as to the number rendered immune by previous attack.

There is no doubt that the longer infectious diseases are postponed the greater is the resisting power and the prospect of recovery.

(b) Bronchitis, Pneumonia, etc. It is probable that these diseases are communicable from person to person, though we do not know to what extent. It is certain that they are particularly fatal in young children.

(c) General Health. Whether school conditions are particularly unfavourable to general health depends on whether the home conditions are better or worse in particular cases; but the aggregation of children in school does in itself tend to make the school conditions unfavourable. The whole question turns upon "environment"; and while large numbers are aggregated together the school environment is not better than the home, even where the latter is unsatisfactory. It must be remembered that, when not attending school, children are out most of the time, exercising their natural instincts and developing their bodies.

The opinion is growing in the medical profession that children commencing education at six or seven are better physically, and probably mentally, in the end than those commencing earlier. The younger age is the time for development of the body, and physique should receive most attention up to the time that mental education can be begun on systematic lines. Yet in a suitable environment children gradually but constantly acquire knowledge without undue mental strain.

If only a few infants were accommodated in a large room, the difficulty would be removed to some extent, but not altogether while they were in the same building as the older scholars.

Much importance cannot be attached to the opportunities given by attendance at school for the detection of diseases (such as defects of vision and hearing, etc.) in their early stages, because although they may be seen and reported to parents there is no power to make parents take measures to remedy them. Nevertheless, the regular medical inspection of school children is most important.

3. Crèches

If nursery schools with no fixed curriculum were provided for small numbers of children, and the children were looked after, not by teachers, but by women of motherly instincts, then where homes were unsatisfactory the infants would be better in such nursery schools. Such places need not be specially built for the purpose; suitable cottages might be used,

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and a selected mother be given the position of nursery governess. Girls could be drafted, each for a week or two, from the higher classes of the elementary schools to assist the governess, and the nurseries would thus serve a double purpose - accommodating the infants and providing most useful instruction for the future mothers. There must be no definite curriculum; the institution should be made to conform as far as possible to home conditions.

4. Accidents

The witness doubted very much whether infantile mortality from accidents would greatly increase if children were excluded from school. But if mothers must go to work, and the older children are wanted at school, it would probably be better to have some provision for the younger ones.

5. Teachers

The instruction of teachers in the detection of disease is very desirable; but to carry this out practically by demonstration on actual classes would at once create difficulties with parents.

STATISTICS as to Infectious Diseases, supplied by Dr. Martin

[page 77]

IV. Dr. Newsholme, Medical Officer of Health for Brighton*

1. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

There are three main points to be considered (1) Health; (2) Educational advantage; (3) Expense. From the point of view of health all aggregations of children on a large scale are a danger to the public health; but a danger which is gladly accepted in the case of schools for the older pupils because of the educational advantages. Since, however, it is generally admitted that children under five gain no educational advantage by school attendance they should be excluded from the schools. The improvement of the schools in such a way as to lesson the danger to health would mean increased expenditure, which should not be incurred unless it could be shown that the educational advantages outweigh the risks of aggregation.

Although in favour of the exclusion of children under five from school the witness was of opinion that it would be desirable to provide crèches in industrial centres for selected children below that age.

2. Considerations bearing upon Health

The atmosphere of the class-room (both for younger and older pupils) is much worse than that of the average poor home. In the class-rooms there are large numbers and a small air-space per child; while in the homes there is a small number and the doors are opening frequently, and there is a larger supply of fresh air. The witness was prepared to go further, and to say that he believed that if observations were made it would be found

*Now Medical Officer of the Local Government Board.

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that Dr. Haldane's conclusions at Dundee would still hold good, that the atmosphere of the class-rooms is worse, speaking generally, than that of the bedrooms of the poor. In this connection he said it was almost universal for the poorer classes to have separate living and bedrooms where there are children. Even though the class-room be of the best the statement broadly would be the same, and even though the home was very poor the child, generally speaking, would be more favourably situated so far as purity of air was concerned in that home than at school.

A great improvement could be effected by reducing the number of children per room. If the number in a babies' room were limited to 25 and the air space per child doubled, and galleries abolished, the conditions would be much better than at present, but even then not so good as if they were in a separate institution altogether. It is not, moreover, solely a question of air-space, but much more of wall-space, which includes window-space, doors, and fire-places.

A great deal more can be done than has been done by means of mechanical ventilation; but the best ventilation possible cannot get rid of all the disadvantages of aggregation, e.g., the presence of dirty children and dirty clothes, and the increased risk of infection.

In a class of (say) 40 children, there are almost certain to be three or four with very dirty clothes, which have often been used as bedclothes at night, and are loaded with organic contamination. A chemical test of the atmosphere fails to reveal the presence of organic effluvia. Thus, in witness' opinion, the conditions of a Secondary School would generally be better than those in an Elementary School; but a chemical test would not show the difference, as there might be the same excess of carbonic gas in the former as in the latter.

If it were practicable to bathe the children and change their clothes each day as soon as they arrived, this mould be an immense improvement; but there would still be for children under five an unnecessary risk of infection not compensated for by any educational advantages. The danger to life from infectious diseases rapidly declines when the age of five is reached, and it is therefore a great gain to the child if these diseases can be postponed for two years, or even one. Infectious diseases are caught in the streets only with great difficulty, and this may he described as retail infection, as against the wholesale infection of the schools.

3. Educational Considerations

The witness said that he was not speaking as an expert on this point; but from the evidence of educational experts, and from his own observations he did not think that chIldren under the age of five gained any advantage educationally by attendance at school.

As to the possibility of educational advantage being derived

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from association with other children, he said that the child would get this advantage equally well at home and among neighbours' children; while he did not think that, even with a thoroughly thought-out course, any material educational advantage would be gained from the child's association at these ages with the teacher in large classes and in large schools.

As regards the benefit which neglected children might derive from school attendance in the matter of speech, manners, and habits, witness pointed out that the children would spend only about one-fourth of their waking hours in the school, and for the rest of the time would be amongst their usual bad surroundings. If they could be taken for the whole time there might be something to he said in its favour; but to bring them within good influences for this limited time is not a sufficient advantage to compensate for the great dangers they run by aggregation.

4. Crèches

Witness suggested that crèches should be provided for selected children under the age of five or six years, the age of admission to depend upon the necessities of mothers. The great advantages of the crèche over the school are that the children are fed and washed, they are treated individually instead of en masse, they are aggregated on a smaller scale, and there is not such a wholesale spread of infection as in the enormous babies' classes.

Witness believed that it would be quite feasible to establish crèches in the large industrial centres, and that if children under five were excluded from school such a system would in fact grow up of itself. They should not be upon a large scale, but should be dotted over the districts in which they were required. The number in any one crèche must not exceed 25, or at the most 30, or there would be the same risks as at a school. Even with only 30 the risk of infection is present to a certain extent, but the reduction from 80 to 30 is a large step in the right direction.

There might be advantage in having the crèche near the school in that the older girls would be required to attend the younger children on their way to the crèche; but the disadvantages would outweigh the advantages, because this plan would lead to concentration near the large schools, and to the establishment of crèches for a larger number than 30.

The crèches should be under the inspection of the local health authority, and should have no connection with the education authority.

In the country districts and small towns, or where a system of crèches could not be established, the children under five should all be excluded from school, whatever the nature of the homes, or of the parents' occupations. If the parents go out to work they must make arrangements for the care of the children.

[page 80]

V. Dr. James Niven, Medical Officer of Health, Manchester

1. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

It is necessary to discriminate between town and country schools, and, in towns, between schools in better and poorer districts. In the country, as a rule, young children are as well out of school. In the towns, as regards better districts, the question arises, What is the value of the education provided at the schools? If it has no value, then the children might be better out of school, according to the district and the schoolroom. But the witness believed that in a school worked under proper conditions it is of great value, both for the training of the senses and for muscular development. Every possible advantage should be taken of the early years to train those faculties (physical and mental) which are then in a state of natural development; but it must be done in a pleasurable way and with due regard to physical health. An immense amount can be done for the muscular development of a child in school. Broadly speaking, therefore, it is better for children in the more favoured town districts to be at school if the school is worked under proper conditions; in the poorer districts it is very much better.

2. Considerations bearing upon Health

(a) Infectious Diseases. There is no doubt that elementary schools have increased the spread of infectious diseases to some extent, and to a greater extent than if young children were not in school. At the same time it is true that these diseases are also spread in play outside the school. In proportion to the number of children the spread of infectious diseases caused by school attendance is greater before five than after; but it must be remembered that if more escape before five the greater will be the incidence of the disease after five. On the whole, without regard to a particular age, school attendance has tended to increase the spread of infectious diseases, but the extent to which they are spread depends on the particular school, especially in the case of measles.

Diphtheria: This disease is increased by the aggregation of children in school. Figures show that the incidence of the disease and the death-rate from this cause at school ages have increased since children were compelled to attend school. There is no evidence to show whether the percentage of deaths in school children of a given age who get diphtheria is greater or less than in children of the same age not in school who get it.*

Measles: This disease is spread in schools and is very difficult to deal with. School attendance of children under five should not be condemned on that ground alone; but the infant depart-

*Dr. Niven has since furnished statistics showing that over a period of five years in Manchester the case-mortality was substantially the same amongst children attending and those not attending school.

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ments of schools should be closed quickly when an outbreak occurs, and in some cases the whole school.

Generally, although school attendance has undoubtedly increased the spread of infectious diseases, yet, with the better training of teachers on the hygienic side and the appointment of school medical officers, a state of things will arise, and, in fact, is arising, in which attendance at school will become a means of decreasing the diseases (more especially diphtheria and scarlet fever).

(b) General Health. Conclusive evidence one way or the other as to the advantage or disadvantage of school attendance from the point of view of general health could only be obtained if the children were regularly weighed and measured; it is most desirable that this should be done.

Defects of sight and hearing, etc., are more likely to be detected early and remedied if the children are in attendance at school; but the teachers need to be trained to recognise the symptoms.

3. Responsibility of Parents

Parents' responsibility for young children is not lessened by school attendance. On the contrary, it is, if anything, increased when parents know that the clothes and food which they provide for their children are liable to inspection and criticism at school.

4. Crèches

As to the relative merits of school and crèche, the witness was of opinion that children are better in school, but the rooms must be suitable. The question to be considered is whether the education itself is valuable, and he believed that it was of great value if of the right kind; in fact, he doubted whether the education given at higher ages was more valuable.

5. Proper Conditions

(a) Premises and Equipment. One point must be strongly insisted upon - that the classrooms for young children should be larger in proportion than those for older children. It would also be an advantage if desks were banished and chairs provided instead, with tables which could be easily removed.

(b) Curriculum. No work should be undertaken which causes the least strain on the eyes or the brain. A little brush-work or writing in sand might be allowed, but no regular drawing or writing. Good kindergarten is, on the whole, beneficial to the health of little children if not carried too far; but complete kindergarten may be not quite free from strain. The teaching should be very largely by means of play, and should be always pleasurable. The length of a single lesson might be about a quarter of an hour.

Children should be allowed to sleep when they want to, and

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quite simple arrangements could be made for this purpose.* If they were allowed a period of absolute rest in the afternoon they might well attend during the same hours as the older children, and they need not then go home unattended.

(c) Teachers. The teachers must possess very special capacity, and should be highly trained for the work of instructing young children.

Teachers should be trained in school hygiene practically, by means of demonstrations by well-qualified doctors on actual classes of children. They should be shown precisely what symptoms to look for and how to look for them. If this were done the aggregation of young children, which may now be considered to some extent a disadvantage, would become altogether an advantage, as it would give opportunities for the early discovery of infectious diseases and physical defects. The benefit would be quite out of proportion to the expenditure.


(See notice on page 61.)

I. Mr. Councillor A. J. Cheverton, Chairman of the Southampton Education Committee

1. Reasons for Exclusion of Children under Five in Southampton

The question of excluding children under five from the public elementary schools in Southampton was first mooted about two years ago. The Chairman of the Education Committee at that time was a medical man, and he strongly urged their exclusion on medical grounds. No action was taken then, but subsequently the need for increased accommodation became very urgent, and this brought the question very much to the fore again. Eventually, in view of the medical considerations and of the fact that exclusion would obviate the immediate necessity of building new schools, the Local Education Authority decided not to admit any more children under five years of age. Children already

*Dr. Niven subsequently forwarded the following notes for incorporation in his evidence:
Witness desires to state that he does not consider that children should be allowed to sleep on the floor, which it would often not be possible to clean.
If all the children are to rest, they might do so, after they had been absent from the schoolroom for a quarter-of-an-hour for recreation or elementary exercise, the schoolroom meanwhile being closed to allow dust to settle, and mats of linoleum with washable headrests being provided. Special care should be taken in cleaning the headrests after use. It is understood that the general surface of the floor would be kept at all times as clean as possible.
If only a portion require rest, the part of the schoolroom occupied by them should he screened off, the same precautions being observed.
It might he possible to devise a system of washable hammocks for afternoon rest.
Or chairs with wooden arms might be provided on which they could fall asleep comfortably. These would require careful cleansing after use.

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attending were not excluded, and there still remain a few under five*; but in the course of 10 or 12 months there will be none. The additional accommodation so provided is being used for older scholars, though there are still some vacant places. The number of children affected by the decision is something like 3,500.

2. Results of Exclusion

The exclusion has not actually effected a lowering of the rates, which are at present just under 9s. in the pound, nor was it expected to do so. It has, in fact involved loss of grant; but it saved further capital expenditure.

So far as can be ascertained, there have been no complaints against the authority's decision, either from parents or from the public generally. There was some difficulty in getting teachers to fall in with the committee's views, and even now they do not all agree with the policy.

As to whether the exclusion of young children from school has led to the establishment of crèches or of places where such children are "minded", witness did not think that this was the case. Neither had he any knowledge of any increase in the number of dames' schools; but it would be easy to get information on this point through the attendance officers.

Exclusion until five has not, so far as witness was aware, increased the difficulty of securing the attendance of children at that age, either by leading parents to evade the law for a time, or by reason of the children being kept at dames' schools.

Witness was not aware whether the exclusion had had any effect on the amount of infectious diseases, but he said that the town was very free from such diseases.

From general observations it does not appear that the prophesied ill effects as regards discipline and cleanliness have been at all appreciable; while mentally there is undoubtedly a great improvement. Nor has there been any marked increase in the number of street accidents.

3. Social Conditions

There is not a great deal of extreme poverty in Southampton. The population consists very largely of the labouring class, and at the present time comparatively few men are out of work. No local industries call to any large extent for female labour, though some mothers go out for ordinary charing work.

4. Alternative Provision for Excluded Children

There are some districts, no doubt, where provision for the care of children under five is needed; but that is a question quite distinct from education. It is a question rather of public health, and witness was of opinion that if the cost of making such

*September, 1907.

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provision had to be borne by the Education rate, the Local Education Authority would be less willing to spend money on other branches of education.

5. Question of Modifying Decision

Witness did not think there was any prospect of the Authority's decision being altered. In any new schools that might be built at Southampton, baby rooms would not be provided.

II. Mr. A. C. Coffin, Secretary to the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Education Committee

[The witness explained that he had only been connected with the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Education Authority for a period of twelve months, having previously been at Darlington, and that the decision to exclude children under five from the public elementary schools in Newcastle had been taken before he went there.]

1. Reasons for Excluding Children under Five in Newcastle

The decision arose out of the proposal of the Board of Education to increase the grants for older scholars if the younger ones were excluded.

In addition to the financial aspect, educational considerations had some share in bringing about the exclusion. The tendency to press children on is rather more noticeable in the north than in the south of England; the people feel that the children are sent to school to learn.

Beyond the expression of opinion from the medical members of the committee, the question was not considered in detail from the medical point of view.

The population of Newcastle is increasing, and it has been necessary in the last few years to build new schools. This fact, however, can hardly be said to have influenced the decision. In planning new schools the Education Authority have provided the same accommodation for babies as was allowed before the exclusion, because, the matter being in such an unsettled state, it may at some future time be necessary to revert to the old practice. In the meanwhile the accommodation so provided will be used for other infants.

2. Results of Exclusion

The time which has elapsed since the exclusion look place has been too short to admit of observations being made as to the result of the policy from the point of view of health: but teachers in the poor districts are unanimous in thinking that it is better for children under five to be at school.

As to the feeling of parents, there were some complaints at first from parents whose children were refused admission, but this does not occur now. Some of them would be glad if the

[page 85]

decision were reversed, but others do not seem to wish it; there is a growing opinion amongst working-class parents that children should not receive education until they are six or seven.

Witness had no information as to whether there was any number of places in Newcastle where children are "minded"; he thought it very unlikely, however, as female labour, other than ordinary charing work, is rare.

Educationally, there is great diversity of opinion among teachers. Some assert that children coming for the first time at five show greater originality; while others think that their education suffers because it takes them longer to get accustomed to school discipline.

3. Social Conditions

There is very little female labour in Newcastle except by the riverside; there are very few factories which employ women.

4. Question of Modifying Decision

An alteration in the policy would involve additional expenditure, because the staff would have to be increased; the present accommodation of the infants' schools would be sufficient to admit children under five. Witness was of opinion that such children ought in certain cases to be admitted to school in Newcastle, and he thought it quite possible that the matter might shortly be reconsidered by the Authority.

5. Practice in Darlington

In Darlington a compromise has been made, children being admitted to school at the age of four years, and the system seems to be giving general satisfaction. There is not much poverty in that town and there is little female labour.

III. Mr. A. Hawcridge, Director of Education in Barrow-in-Furness

1. Reasons for Excluding Children under Five in Barrow

The question of excluding children under five years of age from the elementary schools in Barrow-in-Furness was raised some months before the Board of Education put forward their proposal to modify the grants in respect of such children. Some newspaper correspondence first drew the Education Committee's attention to the subject. There was no question of building new schools, and the financial aspect had no direct bearing on the decision, which was based on medical and educational grounds alone. Witness quoted several authorities as showing that the condition of the atmosphere of schools is worse than that to which children are usually exposed in their homes or in the streets; and he also pointed out the evils connected with

[page 86]

artificial heating. He did not think the objections could be entirely removed by means of mechanical ventilation. As regards the educational aspect, it was believed that children under five were better without formal instruction.

If the social conditions of the town were less good, it might possibly be advisable to admit children under five to school, provided the class-rooms were not over-crowded. If admitted, the number per class-room should be a good deal less than it usually is, and this would add considerably to the expenditure. Witness considered that the present regulations of the Board of Education as regards air and floor space are inadequate, especially for infants' schools.

The rule having been in operation for two years, there are now practically no children under five in the schools. The rooms thus vacated have been occupied by older scholars. The infants' schools are now full, because each child is now required to remain in the infants' school for at least two years; whereas there had been a tendency previously to promote too early. The upper schools are not full.

2. Results of Exclusion

The authority has lost financially by excluding children under five. It was estimated that the loss of grant would be slightly greater than the saving in teachers' salaries; but, as, a matter of fact, the reduction of staff has not been carried out to the full extent possible, with the result that the net loss has been correspondingly increased.

There has been no general dissatisfaction with the rule. Parents objected at first when they found their children were refused admission; but this rapidly passed over.

The decision has not led to the establishment of small privately-managed nurseries where children are "minded". Witness stated that he would very soon have heard had anything of the kind been taking place.

The attendance of older scholars has not been affected by the exclusion of the younger ones.

There has not been any epidemic leading to the closure of a school since the decision was taken. Witness was unable to give any information as to the amount of infectious disease before that time.

It is the unanimous opinion of the mistresses of the Barrow infants' schools that children admitted at the age of five display greater capacity for learning, being mentally more alert and physically stronger.

3. Social Conditions

The bulk of the population are in receipt of good wages and there are no slums to speak of, though there is a certain proportion of very poor people. There is practically no female labour.

[page 87]

4. Crèches

There are certain cases where it would be advisable that young children should be taken care of in nurseries; but no kind of formal instruction should be given. Very few cases of this kind occur in Barrow, however, and witness was of opinion that any such provision would be an encouragement to lazy parents to shirk their responsibilities towards their children.


I. A. F. Butler, H.M. Inspector, Essex

1. Policy of Essex County Education Authority

(a) Actual Conditions. In Essex the County Education Authority have handed over to their Local Advisory Sub-committees, which are appointed for each of the 17 sub-divisions of the county, the duty of deciding whether to exclude or admit children under five. In one district (not wholly rural), near Southend, all children under five have been excluded. In the Lexden district (almost entirely rural) the sub-committee have allowed managers to exclude in a few cases, and out of 33 schools six exclude all under five and three exclude all under four; but the Sub-committee are now considering whether they will make it the rule that children under five shall be admitted to all schools. None of the other districts have taken any definite action in the matter; but if managers asked permission to exclude, they would probably be allowed to do so.

(b) Reasons for Excluding. Where children under five have been excluded it has been almost entirely because of overcrowding, and in only a few cases have educational considerations had any thing to do with it. The general tendency is to exclude where the number of children outgrows the accommodation, and to admit where there is room. It is very unlikely, especially in rural districts, that the accommodation would be increased merely to make room for children under five. In the Lexden district the question is being reconsidered because of the loss of grant which has been involved by exclusion.* In this connection it may be mentioned that in the borough of Colchester the first decision to exclude all children under five was modified so as to admit children over four, because of the serious loss of grant and of the fact that no saving in staff was found possible.

Some members of the local committees are very strongly opposed on principle to children attending school before five; and, on the other hand, there are a few who think that where parents do not look after their children properly it is better to let them come to school.

*Since this evidence was given the sub-committee have decided to adhere to their former practice. A.F.R.

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(c) Opinions on Exclusion. In the majority of cases the managers have not gone into this question to any great extent. Teachers for the most part would like children admitted at four, but not earlier, though an increasing number are coming to believe that five is quite early enough. Witness had not heard of complaints being made by parents in places where young children are excluded; but such complaints would no doubt be made in certain districts, where both parents go out to work, if children under five were excluded.

2. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

The question of providing for young children depends on the nature of the homes. In certain very poor districts it would certainly be better to admit children under five; in Tilbury, for instance, and in some other riverside places. Elsewhere children should not be admitted until five; and in any case unless proper accommodation and a separate teacher are provided it is better for the little children to remain at home.

Educationally children lose nothing by remaining out of school until five. In fact they are found to be brighter and more receptive.

3. Proper Conditions

The provision for children under five, where made, should be of the nature of nurseries in the schools themselves. No formal work should be attempted; but incidentally the teacher should try to improve the children's powers of speech.

II. Miss Munday, Woman Inspector of the Board of Education

1. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

(a) General. As a general rule, the witness said, her experience showed that children who do not attend school until five years of age, whether coming from good or bad homes, are mentally more forward at seven than those who enter schools at three. Children from slum areas, however, are physically and morally infinitely better under control. Therefore where the home is good, even though the mother has all the housework to do, children should not attend school; but as regards the children from slum areas, it would be disastrous in some districts, to exclude them. They would be placed with old women, who, for a small sum, would mind them during the day, keeping them probably shut up in an underground and badly-ventilated room; there would be no guarantee as to their cleanliness, and they might fall ill of measles or other infectious disease without notice being given.

In individual cases in country districts where schools are very small it might happen that a teacher is particularly bright and

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merry and successful with young children, and where this is so, provided she does not attempt to teach them much, the children might be better under her care, and their intellects might be more developed, than if they were at home (especially if the home is very isolated and the children have not the opportunity of seeing and talking to other children).

(b) Considerations of Health. It is decidedly better for the poorer children to be under the supervision of the teachers, who are becoming more and more skilled in detecting ailments and defects in children. Visits by doctors and nurses have helped very much to train the teachers. Defects which might not be seen by parents, and which might be very serious later in life, are often observed by the teachers (notably eyesight).

(c) Effect on Regularity of Attendance. In country villages, as well as in towns, if young children are at home, the elder ones are likely to be kept at home to look after them. This would probably happen very frequently. The witness suggested that if children under five were excluded as a general rule, exceptions should be made in cases where their attendance would enable an older scholar to attend, though no grant would be paid in respect of them. When allowed to come they could be placed in the charge of a young girl, simply a "baby-minder", under the supervision of a teacher.

(d) The Demand. The lower class of parents often will not send their children to school before they are obliged, because in so doing they bring themselves to a certain extent within the law, and they have the Attendance Officer round if the children do not attend regularly. Another objection from their point of view is the fact that they have to get the children washed, dressed, provided with lunch, and off to school by a certain time in the morning. In London the greater bulk of the poorer parents send their children to school, often even saying they are three before they are, in their desire to get them off their hands. In the better class neighbourhoods, chiefly those inhabited by the better type of the artisan class, parents often send their children early to school because they think that they will thus be giving them a longer education, to their ultimate advantage.

(e) Opinions of Teachers. As regards the general desire of teachers to have the young children at school, the witness mentioned that the attendance of these children sometimes makes a great difference in the teachers' salaries, since these are often graded according to the size of the school.

2. Crèches

Those children under five whom it is better not to leave at home should be provided for by means of nurseries rather than schools; but these nurseries should be either under the same roof as the school or very near it.

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3. Proper Conditions

(a) Premises and Equipment. The number in a class should usually not exceed 30, but a good minder in an airy, convenient room can manage 40 without strain. The room should be as large as possible, as more space is required for children running about than for children sitting still.

Galleries should be swept away, and the furniture should be such as to give plenty of open space. The witness would not object to a small gallery for one class of infants over five.

Hammocks, cots, etc., are bad from a sanitary point of view, more especially as sleep is often a precursor of illness. The children may, without harm, be allowed to sleep with their heads resting on the desks. Some Local Education Authorities provide chairs with rests, which can he pulled out to form beds, and with wheels so that they can be wheeled into the playground.

(b) Curriculum. There must be no teaching of the "Three R's". These are still taught to children under five in some schools, though not to so great an extent as formerly. Some teachers have a mistaken idea that the sooner a child begins to learn the more progress will it make; and they like to have something to show as the result of their teaching. This is an inheritance of past methods, and it is rather difficult for an elderly teacher to change the methods of a lifetime.

The time-table should leave a great deal of freedom. The ideal arrangement would be for the children to spend half the time out of doors. This would not be difficult to arrange if the babies' room opened directly on to the playground.

The children should be allowed to sleep. Slum children probably suffer more from lack of sleep than lack of food.

They should be trained in good habits, and be encouraged to talk as much as possible; and they might be taught the letters, an occupation they enjoy. Nursery rhymes, singing, stories and play would fill up the time.

The babies should be allowed to attend for as many hours as the senior school is open. It is very awkward for the mothers to have to come and fetch them.

(c) Teachers. The witness thought that supplementary teachers, or even girls just leaving school, were in many cases very much better than trained teachers for babies. They are much nearer to the child's mind. What is wanted is not a person to teach; but a kind of superior nurse.

4. Schools in Paris

The witness also gave some information with regard to the mode of treatment of children under five in Paris. In place of the Infants' School there are Ecoles Maternelles, in which there are properly qualified teachers for the elder children, and "minders" for the babies. The young children run about in the class room, and spend some part of every hour in the play-

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ground. They may come at 7 in the morning and stay till 7 at night. The teachers take it in turn to come early and stay late. If a child is not claimed at 7 o'clock in the evening the teacher is supposed to take it to the police station. Food is provided for some of the children; others bring it with them. The ages of the babies are from two to six, and there are probably never more than forty or fifty in a class with one teacher.*

III. Mr. J. Tillard, H.M. Inspector, Norfolk

1. Policy of Norfolk County Education Authority

The Norfolk Education Authority insist upon all schools taking in children between three and five if the parents wish them to attend; and the managers are not allowed to refuse admittance on the ground of overcrowding. If a school became permanently overcrowded the authority would probably enlarge it, or in the case of a non-provided school insist upon the managers doing so.

Witness believed that the question had been considered carefully by the Education Authority; he was not aware that they had been assisted by advice from any outside authority. Probably the reasons for the decision were concerned more with the convenience of parents than the interests of the children.

2. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

(a) General. Generally, provided the proper conditions are observed, there is no great objection in country districts to children under five being in school; but in any case it would be a greater gain to the children if the money spent on education below five were devoted to improving the education of children above that age.

(b) Educational Considerations. It is necessary, first of all, to distinguish between two kinds of schools; those in which separate accommodation is provided for children under five, and those where that is not done. It is educationally bad to have the under fives in the same room and under the same teacher as the older infants; and unless separate accommodation is provided, the little ones should be kept at home. The teacher is not able to give sufficient attention to the older children; and the young ones are likely to be pressed on to formal instruction too soon, with the result that they become unresponsive and duller than if they had not attended school. It is impossible to carry on kindergarten methods efficiently without a separate teacher, though it is attempted to a certain extent even in the small country schools in Norfolk.

In Norfolk, out of 493 schools, only thirty-nine have separate class-rooms for children under five. These thirty-nine are for the most part situated in the towns. In small country schools it is practically impossible to provide separate accommodation for the younger infants, of whom there are sometimes not more

*For fuller information on this point see page 171 et seq..

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than two or three. In such schools it is not unusual for ten or twelve babies to enter at the beginning of the spring term; it is impossible to provide extra staff to meet a sudden influx such as this, and the result is that a monitress is employed.

Children do not, under the best conditions, gain much educationally by going to school before five. No doubt for the first year after leaving the babies class, because of being accustomed to the school routine, they get on more quickly than newcomers; but by their early attendance they sacrifice a certain amount of initiative through being under a more rigid discipline. By the time the age of (say) eight is reached the child who came in at five is quite on a level with, if not in advance of, the one who has attended since three. The former takes greater interest in the work, has not so passive an attitude, and has greater power of originality.

(c) Home Conditions. In Norfolk the country children almost invariably have gardens, or a village green, in which they can play. Although the mothers in country districts in some cases take in washing or have employment of some such nature, as a rule the bulk of their work consists of looking after their own homes, and they are therefore in a position to take care of their own children. In towns the case is rather different, and mothers are more often working away from home during the daytime.

(d) Health. As regards infection, the exclusion of children under five would not make much difference probably as there would still be the risk of infection outside the school.

3. Proper Conditions

Children under five require altogether different treatment from the other children. They should have a separate room, a separate time table, and a separate teacher, and should not have lessons of more than about ten minutes duration.

As regards the kind of teacher required for children under five, the witness stated that if money were no object he would as a rule choose a certificated teacher; but he pointed out that some supplementary teachers make quite as good baby teachers as those with higher scholastic attainments. It is largely a question of temperament. Many of the infants' and babies' classes in Norfolk are taught by supplementary or uncertificated teachers.



I. Miss Goodwin, Headmistress of the Eastern District Infants' School, Southampton

1. General

The average attendance in this school is about 400. All the children are over five, the Southampton Authority having excluded children below that age from their schools. At one

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time, previous to the Authority's decision, there were 50 children under five at the school, and probably if such children were now made eligible for admission, about the same number would desire to come. The school is situated in a very poor district; but the witness stated that the head teachers of schools in the other parts of the town had, at a recent meeting, expressed agreement with her views.

2. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

(a) Reasons for Excluding in Southampton. The reasons for the exclusion were financial ones. There is no prospect of the decision being modified at present; any such action would necessitate an increase in the accommodation in some districts. The decision was taken rather hurriedly; the rates were, and are still, high, and there was a question of building new schools, an expense which it was thought would be saved by the exclusion of children under five. The Authority understood also that the Government Grant for these children, which would be set free by their exclusion, would be paid to necessitous school districts, of which Southampton would be one; and they also had in mind the possibility of reducing expenditure on salaries by dismissing about 40 teachers when the exclusion took effect, though eventually this proposal was not carried out. But the chief reason was the desire to save money on staffing and new buildings.

(b) Effects of Exclusion. The effect of the exclusion has been very bad. The children now run about the streets, acquiring bad habits and language, and increasing the risk or accidents.

The difficulty of securing their attendance at five is increased, many of them not starting until five-and-a-half or six. The attendance of the older children is also affected, more especially of the older children in the infants' schools.

Children coming at five are as good mentally as those who have been at school since three, but they compare unfavourably with the earlier comers in cleanliness, manners, and discipline. On the whole, children who come before five are in a much better position to imbibe the instruction which is given at five than those who do not enter until that age; and the latter ought to be kept in the infants' school until a later age than seven. The desirability of making school provision is, of course, much greater in the case of children from poor homes; these children improve in physique and in other ways by attendance. In an average working class home the mother generally has too much to do to be able to give sufficient time to the children; and healthy children are active, and should be looked after by someone who can direct their energies in the proper channels.

Another effect of the exclusion is that small private schools are said to be springing up, charging fees of 2d., 3d., or 4d. a week, in which the children are crowded together into small living rooms. They remain in these schools frequently until after

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the time when they should have commenced attendance at the public elementary school.

(e) The Demand. As a rule mothers are very anxious to get their young children to school, and often come and ask to be allowed to send them. The children themselves want very much to come, and even now they often come to the doors and beg to be allowed to come in.

3. Crèches

The witness was of opinion that it is better for the children to be in baby rooms than in crèches; it is necessary to have a trained person in charge of them.

4. Proper Conditions

The number in a baby room to one teacher should not generally exceed 30.

The "Three R's" are not, and should not be, taught to these young children.

The witness did not think that married teachers were preferable to unmarried ones for children under five.

[Miss Goodwin subsequently added the following note to her evidence:

"I neglected to mention to the Committee that in cases such as ours the age of four might be a useful compromise, as parents find this the most troublesome and mischievous period, and also by that time there are usually two younger children to engross the mother's attention. Such a concession would be greatly valued in this district."]

II. Mrs. Kemp, Headmistress of the Glusburn Council Infants' School, near Keighley

1. General

The Glusburn Infants' School contains from 120 to 150 children, of whom about 64 at present are under five. It is in the same block of buildings as a school for older scholars. There are three rooms in the infants' school, and no central hall. Children are sometimes kept in the infants' school until they are over seven, although some inspectors do not approve, and by reporting in the Upper Department that "the average age of the children is somewhat high", bring pressure to bear upon infants' teachers who keep them back.

2. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

(a) General. Even children from good homes are better at school than at home if the school is organised on proper lines, for they gain much by contact and co-operation with others; while

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if they remain at home they often become selfish and conceited, their senses are less fully developed, and they have less control over their limbs. When attending school they also get their meals more regularly.

(b) Considerations of Health. As regards measles, infection spreads rapidly in school, and it is very desirable that schools should be closed promptly when an outbreak occurs. If this is done the epidemic is much sooner over.

Diseases of eyes and ears, etc., are more likely to he detected by teacher than mother.

Medical inspection of baby classes would be very valuable. The teacher herself notices a great many things, and gives advice to parents, but that advice would have much more weight if backed up by the recommendation or a doctor.

The following paragraph was supplied subsequently by Mrs. Kemp, and inserted here at her request:

"There is another and very important point in connection with Section (b), which tends to foster the spread of infectious diseases. It is this: The encouragement which is given to attendance officers and head teachers to secure high percentages of average attendances. Officers and teachers having high percentages are highly commended by local education authorities, and frequently readmit children after sickness, or keep them when they should be sent home, to secure the continuation of this commendation. In some cases "high percentages" form a most important factor in securing promotion or increase of salary."

(c) Responsibility of Parents. Much good can be done by teachers talking to mothers about the care of children; and "open days" at the school for mothers are valuable. In this way the attendance of children at school is a means indirectly of helping to educate parents.

3. Crèches

The witness was of opinion that a crèche attached to a school would be very useful, especially in manufacturing districts. It might be most helpful in training older girls in practical work in this connection.

4. Proper Conditions

(a) Premises and Equipment. There ought not to be more than 30 babies in one class. With, say, 60 babies, it would be well to have two rooms and two teachers, keeping one room for play and the other for occupation and changing the children, in two sets, about from room to room.

The room should be the brightest and sunniest in the building. Movable chairs (for preference), or forms with backs, and low kindergarten-tables, should take the place of fixed desks and seats.

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A blackboard dado should cover the lower part of the walls, and nursery rhymes, pictures, etc., be hung on the upper part.

A floor covering or linoleum or cork carpet would obviate the danger from wood splinters.

There must be a plentiful supply of toys, dolls, and other playthings, including Froebel's Gifts I. and III., safety swings, a rocking-horse, a sand-tank, and small spades and buckets; horse-reins, balls, skipping-ropes for the playground.

Sleeping arrangements must be provided; hammocks of knotted string, fixed in wood frames which turn up and fasten on the wall when not in use, are suggested as unlikely to carry infection, and thin blankets may be used in winter, but must be frequently washed; pillows are not required.

If possible the playground and offices should be separate from those used by the older scholars.

(b) Curriculum. Baby rooms should be organised nurseries, and the playgrounds should be used just as much as the nurseries in fine weather. The regulations do not allow at present a sufficient time in the playground. When the weather does not permit of the use of the playground a hall should be available for use instead. As regards the possible disturbance of other classes by the noise or play, the witness was of opinion that they would soon get used to it, and must do so, as a healthy noise is absolutely necessary to the proper conducting of a babies' class.

There must be no formal time-table, and the teacher should be at liberty to give more or less than the normal time to any particular lesson or occupation. The occupations and spirit of the kindergarten should prevail.

Quite half the time should be devoted to outdoor exorcise, free-play, and resting; half-an-hour each session to nursery rhymes, fairy tales, etc.; and the remaining time to kindergarten or other occupations, including hall games, cube-building, modelling in wet sand or clay, digging in sand, bead and reed threading, matching and sorting, etc.

The babies must be allowed to sleep when they want to, and should all be trained to sleep during the day.

As to the hours, they might be allowed to come at any time between nine and ten in the morning, and an afternoon session of two hours would not be too long if they were allowed to sleep. If brought by the elder children before nine, the teacher should be there to receive them. Whatever the hours it should not be a transgression to come late.

There must be no reading or writing nor any of the ordinary work of the elementary school.

Discipline, as understood in the upper school, can have no place in the babies' classes, but the babies can be taught to be obedient. The witness agreed that there might be considerable difficulty in enforcing the ordinary school discipline when children first go up to the higher classes, but allowance should be made for the way they have been treated by those teaching and inspecting them.

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As regards the age of leaving the infants' school, children should never leave the infants' school under seven; the witness referred to a difficulty in connection with the grants. These being higher for the upper school than for the infants' department there is a desire to get the children into the former at an early age. The grants, she thought, should be the same for both departments.

(c) Inspection. None but women inspectors should visit baby classes. Men do not understand the needs of little children.

(d) Teachers. It is a great mistake to suppose that any teacher will do for babies; in fact, the aim should be "the younger the child the better the teacher". If the headmistress be a capable and sympathetic teacher of the right kind she might be assisted by ex-pupil teachers, or occasionally persons without even this qualification.

As regards teachers' training, the best course is provided by the National Froebel Union Certificate. But teachers possessing such certificates, without experience in elementary work, are unable to deal with even 30 children. The ideal babies' teacher would be one with a dual training covering both the Elementary Teachers' Certificate and also that of the National Froebel Union. Aptitude for the work is very important, but the teacher must be trained. It would be an advantage if not only the infants' teachers but all the elementary school teachers had some Froebel training - enough to understand thoroughly the principles underlying the teaching in the infants' school. At present much of the work in the latter is thrown away, and the development of children entering the upper school checked for at least three months, because the teachers there do not understand the methods upon which they have been taught previously. More encouragement ought to be given to pupil teachers to take the Froebel Certificate; and it would be advantageous if teachers of the standards were to visit the infants' schools to see the methods actually in practice.

Teachers should not be hall-marked as babies' teachers; they very much resent it.

There is a great advantage in having as teachers married women who have had children of their own.

III. Mr. Walter Roberts, Headmaster of Steventon Church School, Berkshire

[Witness stated, in reply to a question, that he had been at his present school for the last 30 years.]

1. Policy of Berkshire Education Authority

Children under five years of age have been excluded from all schools in the Administrative County of Berkshire; the decision has been in force for the last three years.

This decision has caused a reduction of about 20 in the number of children attending the Steventon Church School.

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The present number of scholars is 182 (infants 52 and standards 130). The staff has not been reduced in consequence of the diminished attendance. A separate room for babies was added to the school shortly before the decision to exclude children under five was taken. If they were now re-admitted there would be ample room for them.

2. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

(a) Educational Considerations. Although children under five should not receive formal instruction, they can be trained in habits of obedience, punctuality, tidiness, and cleanliness, which make them more fit to receive such instruction later on. Children who now enter at five have to start where those who came at three used to start; and having been during the two years from three to five in bad homes and in the streets, they are not in so good a condition to receive instruction as those who came at three. The exclusion has not been in force long enough yet to enable its effect upon the later education of the children to he actually traced beyond the Third Standard; but, so far as it is possible to judge at present, children coming in at five do not make any more rapid advance than those who came at three. Witness said that this was contrary to the opinion he had formed before the exclusion took place.

He added that the difficulty of securing the attendance of children at the age or five had been increased by their exclusion until that age, but not to any great extent.

(b) Considerations of Health. Some of the homes of the poor are so squalid that young children cannot be properly brought up in them. It is desirable that children from such homes should be allowed to come to school, at any rate when they reach the age of four. The schoolroom is more sanitary than the home in such cases; and the influence of the teacher is beneficial in leading to an improvement in the cleanliness of the children. Where the homes are good, children should not attend school before the age of five.

(c) Home Conditions. Some of the homes in Steventon, which may be taken as an average specimen of a Berkshire village, are worse even than those found in towns. There are very few new cottages, and many of the families live in tenements formed by the division of old farmhouses. On the other hand, when the weather is fine the children can easily get into the open air; and they get a better and fresher air than is accessible to town children. In the district in question mothers do not go out to work a great deal.

(d) Demand. If children under five were admitted parents would be quite willing to send them, and many applications for permission to do so are received now. The children themselves used to enjoy coming to school, and now they may frequently be seen loitering round the playground gate.

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3. Proper Conditions

The curriculum for younger infants should not be bound down to a strict course in reading, writing and arithmetic, but should be kindergarten in character, and designed to inculcate good habits. There was a tendency, when these young children were admitted, to give instruction not suited to them, and the inspectors expected to find them learning to read.

As regards the older infants, they are expected by the time they leave the infants' school to do very simple addition and subtraction mentally at a fair rate, to copy in a fair round hand, and to read from a simple primer. They show a considerable love for reading; and witness believed that the curriculum was not such as to have a harmful effect upon them. In addition to these subjects time is also devoted to free play and organised games in the playground. There is no central hall.

4. Difficulty of Scattered Population

All the children attending the Steventon Church School live in, or close to, the village, and none of them have more than about half a mile to walk from their homes to the school. But there are, no doubt, in other parts of the county cases of children living at a great distance from any school.

In places where the population is sparse and the number of children under five near any one school very small, it would be more economical to provide conveyances to carry them to a central school than to keep one teacher in each school for only a few children.

IV. Mrs. Shaw, Headmistress of the Hazelrigge Road Infants' School, Clapham

1. General

1. The number of children on the rolls of this school is 624. The Baby Room Gallery accommodates 74. About 50 of the children are under 5; only in very exceptional cases are children admitted under four years of age. The majority of the children in the school come from a fairly good neighbourhood; but about one-third of those under five come from a slum district.

2. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

(a) General. The school is preferable to a poor home, and children from such homes improve both morally and physically by school attendance; it is not, however, preferable to a good home, and unless children are being neglected pressure should not be used to get them to school. If, though the home were a good one in the ordinary sense, the mother were too busy with her domestic duties properly to look after the child, that child would be better at school.

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(b) Educational Considerations. In cases which have come under the witness's observation, children entering school at five and coming from good homes are, if anything, brighter and more receptive than those who have been attending since three; but in the end there is probably no difference between those who come early and those who come late.

(c) Considerations of Health. From the point of view of health, it is desirable to bring the children under observation at an early age, even though aggregation may increase the chance of infection; visits of the school nurse have had a very beneficial effect on skin cleanliness. The witness was of opinion, however, that infectious disease spread more between five and six than in the earlier years. On the other hand, a child requires more outdoor exercise and more sleep than it gets when attending school, and for this reason children with good homes should remain in them.

Medical inspection is more important at a later age. In baby rooms the teachers themselves have time to examine the children, and in helping to dress them are brought into very close contact with them.

(d) The Demand. Mothers who have all the housework to do are very glad to be able to send their children to school in order to get them out of the way. There is a great desire in such cases to get the children to school; and the accommodation is not sufficient to admit all those wishing to enter. The children themselves, too, want to attend school; in the case of the poorer ones it forms an enjoyable part of their lives. Where the home is a good one and the mother is able to teach the child herself there is no desire to send the child to school.

(e) Responsibility of Parents. The fact that children are going to school causes the mother to take more trouble in making them clean and tidy. This is shown by contrast in the state of the children on Saturdays when the school is closed.

3. Crèches

The witness thought the children would be better in good nursery schools or municipal crèches than in public elementary schools. A crèche conducted on kindergarten lines would be better than the home, unless the mother had plenty of time to attend to the child; but even then it is necessary to consider that the child between three and five is beginning to feel the need of companionship with its fellows. The crèche or nursery school must be near the elementary school, so that babies can be conducted them by the older children, the mothers being quite unable to spare the time. It need not be in a separate building at all, in fact. A room in the school itself would do as well if the proper conditions were observed.

The witness agreed that one advantage of having the babies under the same organisation as the school instead of in an entirely

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separate institution such as a crèche would be that they could be linked on to the next class. She agreed also that some parents who send their children to school would not care to send them to a crèche.

4. Proper Conditions

(a) Premises and Equipment. The number in a class should be smaller than at present, not exceeding 40.

Galleries should be removed in order to give more floor space and more freedom of action. Instead there should be small tables and chairs, which could be moved out of the way when necessary.

Hammocks would be useful, and are clean to use. Rugs, cushions, and mattresses are open to objection. More seats are required in the playground.

Blackboards fixed on the walls are very valuable, giving the children an opportunity of expressing themselves; and there should also be bright-coloured pictures, simple in design and outline.

Large sand-troughs on wheels are useful for planting seeds and flowers, and for making "sand-pies", etc. The sand can be disinfected every day with a hot solution of sanitas.

(b) Curriculum. The babies' room must imitate the home as much as possible, and must not be regarded as a school at all. There must be no regular teaching; without it the children will learn a great deal, improving in speech, manner, and habits,

The "three R's" should be excluded.

A little kindergarten work may be taken. A kindergarten atmosphere should pervade work and play; the occupations being suitable to the capacity of the children and largely circulating round their observations and the stories in hand, which would necessarily loom largely in the curriculum.

The natural instinct for movement, so necessary for healthy brain development, must not be unduly repressed. There should be games and free play. In fine weather the children should be taken into the open air; in bad weather they should play in the hall. The witness was of opinion that the other classes would not be very much disturbed by the noise of the babies playing in the hall. In planning new schools it would be possible with little extra expense to provide separate rooms for babies (as for cookery and laundry centres) with a small playing area attached. A sand heap would be acceptable.

The playground ought to be utilised frequently, particularly in the summer. The amount to which it is in fact used is restricted owing to the babies sharing it with the rest of the school and other departments. The difficulty is less where the babies have a separate exit into it.

Babies must be allowed to sleep during school time when inclined, especially in the hot weather.

Organised games should not last longer than ten minutes at a stretch.

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The care of gold-fish, silkworms, doves, etc., awakens interest and creates the desire to speak even in the poorest child. Seed and bulb planting and the tending of flowers bring the child into touch with nature, and afford material for language lessons.

(c) The Teacher. The teacher should be both teacher and nurse. A modified training is required for teachers of baby classes and of the infants' school generally. The witness did not wish to differentiate for this purpose between babies' teachers and infants' teachers. At the same time it is not desirable to keep a teacher always bound down to this class of work; and as a rule baby class teachers make excellent teachers of older scholars.

The training should be on Froebelian lines. The teacher should have an ample repertoire and acquaintance with good story literature - skill in selection and rejection of matter and material as well as method of presentation. But it must be understood that a person trained on these lines, or in fact on any lines, would not necessarily be a good teacher of babies; she must be of the right type to start with.

Married teachers as a rule show great sympathy with the little ones.

V. Miss Sheldon, Headmistress of the Christ Church Infants' School, Blackburn

1. General

There are 350 infants in the Christ Church School, mostly drawn from the operative class. About 100 of them are under five, and are accommodated in two baby rooms. The school is situated in a rather rough, but not slum, neighbourhood.

2. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

(a) Educational Considerations. Children coming at five make slower progress and are more difficult to manage than those who come earlier. One cannot gain their affection after their previous street life and home training. Intellectually and morally they are much inferior at seven than the others, and are not fit to go on to the higher school, though, of course, they must.

(b) Considerations of Health. Young children who are not attending school are often left under the charge of other children not much older than themselves, or of a grandmother who is physically unfit, or of a woman who takes five or six children at a charge of about 2s. 6d. a week for two children, including meals; in the latter case they are often turned out into the streets and go unwashed until night. If they came to school they would be looked after properly.

Infectious diseases are mostly picked up in the streets; and it is with the new arrivals at five years of age that an epidemic usually starts in school.

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(c) The Demand. The discussion which has been going on all over the country is affecting the attendance of infants; and some Blackburn parents have even come to think that children are not admitted until five years of age. A Blackburn doctor has said that young children are better out of school, and some parents have come to believe that it is rather dangerous to send their children to school. There is also a class of parents in Blackburn who either dislike education or are indifferent to it altogether. These parents want to get rid of the children, but would rather send them into the streets than to school. One reason for this is that they are saved the trouble of getting them ready for school, and they know that if the children once get on the registers they will be required to attend regularly. The witness was of opinion that much could be done to remove this feeling if she could get the parents together sometimes and talk to them about their children.

The children themselves really like the school, once they have fairly got accustomed to it.

(d) Regularity of Attendance. It is much more difficult to secure the regular attendance of children who do not come until five; and half the first year is spent in trying to get them to attend.

3. Crèches

Crèches would not be nearly so suitable as schools. In the former the bodily health only is attended to, and it is essential that mental activity should be developed.

4. Proper Conditions

(a) Premises and Equipment. There should not be more than 25 or 30 children in a room at the very most. In the witness's school there are dual desks; but in her opinion chairs and tables would be more suitable. Galleries have been removed. The playground is not very suitable, having a flagged floor and no covered part.

(b) Curriculum. Instruction should be given by means of play, and in the fine summer weather children ought to be outdoors more than indoors. There should be no rigid timetable; there is no harm in having a time-table, provided that it can be altered at will.

(c) Inspection. The witness preferred men to women inspectors, as the former are more considerate and less inclined to find fault.

(d) Teachers. Teachers must be specially trained for baby classes; the same training as for the elementary school teachers would do, provided they did their practising in baby classes.

Children lose much when promoted to the upper school, because the teaching is so different. This could be prevented by

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placing the upper school teachers in the infants' school for a time. They would thus get an insight into the methods, of which at present they are very ignorant.


I. Mr. Felix Clay, Architect to the Board of Education

1. Approval of Plans for New Schools

Plans of new buildings or alterations to existing ones have to be submitted to the Board of Education in the case of all schools receiving grants. A personal interview with the local architect is always arranged if there is need for it. The heating and ventilation arrangements always receive careful attention. No particular system is officially recommended by the Board for universal application. It would be difficult to refuse approval to any system; but, if it were found inadequate in practice alterations would be required. Nearly every ventilating engineer has his own ideas on the subject, and there is no arrangement which can be said to be perfect.

2. Small Schools

In the case, of small schools the Board insist upon a good arrangement of windows; an adequate supply of inlets for fresh air, and extract ventilators in the ceiling or, if there be an upper story, in the chimney breast. Beyond this there is little to be done in small schools in the matter of ventilation. The windows provide the best means of ventilation in such schools, and a sensible teacher can keep the rooms in a very fair condition with these alone. The Board, therefore, require to be satisfied that the windows are of a good pattern. Ventilators do not do a great deal, but are a safeguard in case the windows are not properly used. Teachers as a rule do not use the windows properly. Well-constructed windows can be kept open almost all the year round if the heating arrangements are adequate. There should be a supplemental window, if possible, for ventilation purposes on the opposite side of the room to the main lighting windows so that the air can be kept fresh by means of a cross draught at the top.

It may be taken that in the schools recently erected the Board have been able to secure a sufficient amount of windows made to open.

3. Heating

Small schools are usually heated by open fires; but stoves with open fireplaces, such as the "Musgrove" are also allowed. Close stoves are not permitted in new schools; but it is difficult to get rid of them where they already exist. They get red-hot and vitiate the atmosphere. Open stoves do not do so, and have the advantage of greater heating power than fires.

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In quite a small room - that is one which would accommodate (say) 30 children - a single fire gives sufficient heat on a cold day without undue restriction of the ventilation; but in larger rooms one fire is not enough at all times. The best plan for large rooms is to have a fire and also a line of hot-water pipes along the side of the room furthest from the fire. The Board, however, feel that they cannot insist both on fires and pipes. Either is accepted provided it is adequate. There is also the danger, when both are present, that only the pipes will be used, and if these had been put in with the object merely of supplementing the fire, they would not be adequate by themselves. For this reason, the witness was of opinion that the best method to recommend for large schools was heating by radiators alone, in which case ample provision for the admission of fresh air must be made.

The actual size of the radiators is left a good deal to the discretion of the Local Education Authority. If they considered them adequate and the Board differed, the proposed pipes would probably be accepted subject to the right of the Board to insist upon additions after the school was opened, if they were found to be deficient. There is, however, as a rule a good deal of margin provided, and if the weather is very cold the furnace can generally be made to heat the pipes to a higher degree for a time.

4. Plenum System

The Plenum system has many strong supporters, who are able to show that chemically a fairly pure atmosphere is maintained by it. The witness's opinion, however was strongly adverse to its use for school purposes.

In the Plenum system, warmed air is introduced under pressure into the upper part of the room; this, being at a higher temperature than that already in the room, spreads over the ceiling, and being under pressure produces a gradual downward movement, passing out of the room at the floor level.

Certain objections to the system are - The warming of the rooms by hot air only; this requires raising the incoming air to a temperature that seems to destroy some of its invigorating qualities and produces a somewhat enervating effect. The walls and furniture of the room being cold, there is a radiation of heat from the persons in the room. Perhaps the chief objection is that for the proper working of the system it is absolutely necessary to keep the windows closed, and in order to ensure this the windows are not as a rule made to open; this has a very serious disadvantage, in accustoming the children to sit in rooms with the windows shut. In America, from which country this system comes, it is necessary to keep the windows shut during a part of the year; but in this country there are not many days when properly managed windows cannot be opened - and for most of the year they can be opened freely - so that it is not necessary to go to great expense to bring in air that has been filtered, heated

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and moistened, and, unless the ducts are kept very clean, apt to be dirtied as well. Perhaps in the case of a school close to a factory, which emitted a great deal of dust, some such arrangement might be desirable.

A further objection, found in cases where, as most commonly happens, the outlet is on the inner side wall of the room, is that the children sitting by it are in a stream of all the bad air passing out of the room. A case was mentioned in which it had been found necessary to change the children occupying those particular desks at frequent intervals.

In some installations there is apt to be an unpleasant buzzing noise produced when the engines are run at a sufficient speed to make the ventilation scheme work satisfactorily; but no doubt this could be met by a larger fan or a suitable engine.

The system necessitates the employment of an engineer, as it requires continual adjustment. It can therefore only be introduced in very large schools. But however well adjusted, the classrooms nearest the engines are generally found to be much better ventilated than those farther off. The system has been introduced into a certain number of Elementary Schools, and to a less extent in Secondary Schools. The problem is not quite so difficult in Secondary Schools, because the numbers in the classrooms are smaller. The cost of installation in a school for 1,000 would be from 1,500 to 2,000.

5. Ventilation through Radiators

The plan of ventilating by means of inlets behind the radiators is a very good one and is beginning to be commonly used. The extract ventilators are important with such a system because of the absence of fires. If they are effective the opening of windows becomes a matter of less importance. It is necessary that the head teacher should see that the ventilators are kept open.

6. Natural Ventilation

In the absence of mechanical ventilation, temperature enters into the problem a good deal. Children can be got accustomed to a very free introduction of air, and the rooms can be kept pretty fresh; and it is true that the fresher the air is, the less sensitive are the children to cold: a vitiated atmosphere causes them to feel the cold. It is wonderful how fresh a sensible teacher can keep a classroom without the aid of any mechanical system if the windows are suitably arranged.

7. Staffordshire System

In certain new schools in Staffordshire a somewhat novel system has been adopted. All the classrooms are arranged with windows on each side, so that whichever way the wind is blowing one set of windows can be kept open. Ventilation is entirely by cross-current. There are radiators under the windows on each side of the room. The system has certain objections, from the

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point of view of direction of lighting to some of the desks, and supervision; but they are not serious, and, on the whole, it is working very well, though it depends again very largely on the teachers. The buildings are not costly, though the extended arrangement adds somewhat but not very much to the area of the sites. Excluding sites, the cost is just over 10 per head. The maintenance of the heating arrangements is a little more expensive than usual.

8. Central Hall System

Under this system the classrooms are all placed round a central hall. Cross ventilation can, however, be obtained if the roof of the hall is brought down below the ceiling of the classrooms, and windows are placed in the room walls in the space above the roof of the hall. This involves a somewhat extensive amount of gutters, and does not secure the full use of windows on two sides such as is aimed at in the Staffordshire type of school. A different treatment is required where there are two or more storeys. During recess the partitions between the rooms and the hall can be thrown open, allowing ventilation right through the school.

9. South Aspect

Attention is always drawn to the desirability of having the windows on the south side, especially in Infants' Schools. In schools built on the central hall system, with classrooms all round, however, some rooms are bound to face the wrong way. Many schools built several years ago had the windows on the north side; this is accounted for by the fact that twenty years ago the north light was thought to be the best light for classrooms.

II. Miss Cecil Henland (now Mrs. Percival), Honorary Secretary of the National Society of Day Nurseries*

1. Aims of National Society of Day Nurseries

The National Society of Day Nurseries was founded for the purpose of raising the standard of day nurseries in this country. At present such institutions are not liable to inspection, and there are a large number of very inferior ones which do more harm than good. It is thought that the aim of the Society would be best achieved through the establishment of a system of compulsory inspection. Witness suggested that the inspectors for this purpose should be women appointed by the Board of Education; but she would not mind what Government Department controlled the work so long as it was done thoroughly. It

*Mrs. Percival desires it to be understood that the opinions expressed in this summary are her own personal views and not necessarily those of her Society.

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is desired to bring the public to see that unless crèches are kept up to a proper standard and are open to inspection they ought to be abolished. Grants will be given by the Society to recognised institutions; and it is proposed to issue a magazine which will contain a list of crèches, indicating those which the public are advised not to maintain.

2. Existing Provision of Day Nurseries

Considerable efforts have been made to discover what crèches are in existence; but no doubt there are a great number of which the Society has no knowledge, and new ones are constantly being started.

At present there are 77 known crèches in London and 103 in Great Britain, as against some 500 in France. There are besides, of course, a great number of small places where children are "minded", which are not called crèches, and concerning which it is difficult to get information.

Several new nurseries have been founded by the Society itself.

3. Need for Day Nurseries

The Society recommends the provision of day nurseries wherever there are slums and in factory towns, and not anywhere else. The ideal system would be for mothers to stay at home and look after their children themselves, but this is not possible under the present conditions of labour, and it is useless to wait until these conditions have been improved. Where children from three to five are already suitably accommodated in schools the Society would not wish to supersede such provision by crèches for those children.

4. Training for Future Mothers

The day nurseries should be connected with girls' schools, so that the girls may go to them and receive instruction in the care of infants. All girls on leaving the public elementary schools should be compelled to go to these nurseries for a period of (say) three months. Under present conditions, girls, in consequence of their attendance at school, see but little of their young brothers and sisters; and it follows that they have less opportunity of learning about the care of children than had the girls of the last generation.

5. Control

Nurseries should receive public aid and should certainly be under State inspection, but it would not be desirable for them to be wholly provided by municipal authorities. In France the crèches are nearly all voluntary institutions; but they are obliged to get State recognition and must be open to inspection.

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6. Present Conditions

Nearly all crèches in England take children up to the age of five, in contrast to the French crèches which stop at three and are then followed by the Ecoles Maternelles. Witness was of opinion that there was no reason why children of all ages up to five should not be in one institution.

English crèches are open as a rule from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m. They are not open on Sundays nor on Saturday afternoons.

Food is provided and the children are washed and dressed every day when they arrive. The usual charge is 4d. a day; in a few districts it is 2d.

There are other places, not called crèches, which are run for private profit. In these, children are "minded" for about 8d. or 10d. a day. They are conducted in private houses, and it is difficult to see how they can be brought under inspection; the Society has so far confined its attention to the day nurseries which are supported by public subscription.

7. Staffing

In the ordinary way a highly-educated lady would not be sent to take charge of a day nursery. The matron should be very motherly, and should be well trained, with some knowledge of child hygiene; experience of hospital work would be very suitable.

The minimum rate of staffing approved by the society is one attendant for every six babies.

8. Cost

It is very difficult to give figures as to the cost, either of instituting crèches or of maintaining them, because, as a rule, existing houses are taken over and adapted, and many presents are given in kind.

9. Infectious Disease

There is a good deal of difficulty in connection with epidemics, and sometimes crèches have to be temporarily closed on this account. A great many doctors disapprove of them as helping to spread infectious diseases. If proper care is taken, however, they ought not to be stopped for this reason; the good they do more than outweighs the evils.

10. Comparative Advantage of Crèche and School

Witness was of opinion that children from poor homes are more suitably provided for in crèches than in schools; if they are not fed in the latter, then the crèche is undoubtedly a much better place for them.

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III. Miss Grace Owen, of the Manchester University Training College

1. The Course in Manchester University

A course of training extending over two years leading to a Manchester University certificate, intended especially for teachers in infants' schools and the lower standards of elementary schools, has been started this year in the Manchester University, as it has been felt that there is a need for special preparation for such teachers. Twenty candidates were received out of 80 who applied for the course. From the number of applicants it may be assumed that there is no lack of readiness to take the course, in spite of the fact that it leads to no degree. It will be seen, however, from the Manchester syllabus that it is proposed to offer a third year's training in 1909 and after, which shall give the special preparation needed by those who wish to teach in special schools for defective children. No doubt the lack of sufficient training college accommodation throughout the country partly accounts for the large number of applicants, but it has been clear to witness that the candidates this year were almost all specially wishful to teach the youngest children, and, not having matriculated, were content to leave the degree course alone.

The course includes a certain portion of the ordinary course for a degree (intermediate grades) as well as professional training.

(1) Two courses from the faculties of arts or science each year.

(2) Education I. Child study in the first year.

(3) Education IV. Physiology and hygiene in the first year.

(4) Education II. Scientific principles of teaching, including a study of the curriculum, and general and special methods in the second year.

(5) Education IX. Special methods and seminar relating to infant schools and the lower standards throughout two years.

(6) Manual occupations and art training throughout two years.

(7) The additional courses provided by the University in accordance with the regulations of the Board of Education, viz., elocution, singing, drawing, needle-work, gymnasium.

(8) Practice and observation throughout two years, including

(1) Practice and observation in the University Demonstration School.
(2) Three weeks' practice (at least) in July of each year in the infant schools of the city.

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This course is intended for all teachers in the infants' schools and lower standards, and does not differentiate between teachers of children under five and teachers of children above that age.

2. Suggested Scheme for a Two Years' Training for Teachers in Infants' Schools and the Lower Standards

Witness handed in and commented upon a syllabus detailing a suggested scheme for a two years' course of training of teachers in infants' schools and the lower standards. It is not actually descriptive of the courses offered by Manchester University, but is submitted as suggestive of the work which it is most desirable that these teachers should take at any training college, before entering upon their career.

Science. The two sciences, to have some experience in which seems indispensable to all teachers, are psychology and biology - psychology to influence the attitude of the teacher, and to help him to gain some definite knowledge of the children he is going to teach, and biology (1) to give the student some idea of the meaning of evolutionary development; (2) to furnish a basis for further Nature study, and (3) to give training in scientific habits of thought. The course therefore includes a three-hour course in elementary and genetic psychology during the first year, and a four-hour course in biology during the second.

Literature. A course of two hours a week throughout the two years, planned with the view both of giving the student the opportunity of studying for her own sake and also of preparing definitely for her work with children by studying that material which she will need later on to use, such as myths, fairy tales, etc.

History. A course dealing with successive periods from the point of view of social development, and including a study of the great men of the times, is specially needed, and is suggested as a two hours' course during the second year.

Constructive Occupations. A two-hours' course during the first year. This work is indispensable in the training of teachers of young children. It should not be wholly confined to the actual occupations which can be carried out by children in the infants' schools, but should include something of the work suitable for the junior school. This is necessary in order to ensure that the teachers shall understand the significance of what can be done in the infants' school, and also enable them to co-operate with the teachers of the classes above their own.

With regard to the question whether the large programme in this subject could be managed in the time allowed, two hours a week in only one year, witness pointed out that the work would be begun in class, and completed out of class hours. She thought therefore that there would be no difficulty.

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Art Training. The course in this subject occupies two years on account of the amount of practice needed.

Other subjects referring more particularly to the general training of the teacher, are: Elocution (one hour) in the first year, and Singing and Physical Training (two hours) in both years.

Certain courses are planned with special reference to the actual work of teaching, for example:

Modern Educational Theory (two hours) during the second year. In this a special study is made of Froebel's work, but it is important that it should not be treated in isolation, but in relation to the educators of his own and modern times.

The Curriculum (two hours). The study of the principles of the curriculum as a whole, and of its separate branches, lasts through the two years.

Physiology and Hygiene (two hours) during the second year.

Practical Mathematics. A course in practical mathematics will in most cases be found desirable during the second year.

Nature Study (two hours) and Physiography (one hour) during the first year.

Children's Games and Songs (one hour) to ensure the study and practice of games suitable for little children.

Witness was of opinion that the course, although a fairly full one, was not too full. Students would be expected to spend a certain amount of time in preparation out of class hours.

Practice and Observation. 1½ hours in a demonstration school each day during most of the first year; in the second year, practice to be taken for a few weeks at a time at intervals, and to include a period of practice in an elementary school.

Importance of Demonstration Schools in connection with training colleges:

(1) Before launching out into the often undesirable conditions of the large elementary schools, it is most important that the teacher should have acquired habits of teaching elsewhere, especially the habit of regarding the children individually, which necessitates opportunities for coming in close contact with them.
(2) It is only in a school connected with the training college that the supervisor can give much real help to the students for whom she is responsible.
(3) It is most important that schools should exist where experiments can be carried out, and that students in training should be in contact with such. Without this opportunity the chief means of cultivating a progressive attitude in the student in educational matters is lacking in the training college.
During the latter part or their training, it is most desirable that students should practise under the conditions to which they are actually going, but in the opinion of witness, previous

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observation and practice in a demonstration school is of the first importance.

4. Instruction of Children under Five

In answer to questions, witness stated that it is still common to find reading, writing, and numbers taught in infants' classes.

The limit of a quarter of an hour for the lessons is not as beneficial as it may sound, as the continual collecting and giving out of material is distracting and unsatisfactory to both teachers and children. All "instruction" is out of place, but suitable occupations need by no means be limited to a quarter of an hour.

Witness suggested:

(1) that there be no rigidly fixed time-table;
(2) that about two hours a day be given to organised games and occupations, and the rest of the time to free play, resting, or quiet undirected occupations;
(3) that desks and galleries be removed, and chairs and folding tables be substituted, sand corners provided, etc.
This state of things has not been reached yet, greatly owing to the fact that the teachers are hampered by the expectations of inspectors and of teachers of the classes above as regards the standard which the children of the infants' school must reach before they leave it. They feel that if they do not start reading and writing at the earliest possible moment the required standard will not be reached in time. As a matter of fact, it is probable that the children would read more intelligently at seven years of age, even if they could not read such difficult words, if they did not begin until they were six years old, than if they began at three. Witness believed that teachers of the youngest children need quite as thorough a training as others - though it might be possible for a mature and thoroughly trained teacher of experience to supervise several groups of children under the immediate charge of less qualified assistants. She disagreed entirely with the contention that young girls just leaving school are suitable teachers for young children because of being "nearer to the child's mind"; on the contrary, she thought that older teachers have much more sympathy with the youngest children.

IV. Mr. Robert J. Parr, Director of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

1. Inquiry of Parents

Witness handed in a table showing the results of the inquiry made by the Society for the assistance of the Consultative Committee. Inquiries had been made by 161 inspectors at 479 homes, the object being to get direct evidence from the parents

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themselves as to whether they desire their children between three and five years of age to attend school.* The inquiry was confined to England and Wales. The information was derived from three classes of parents whom the Society has under observation and was obtained by the inspectors during their ordinary visits of supervision. The Society has a large number of persons under observation and visits are paid to them occasionally by the inspectors; the inspectors are not looked upon as enemies by the people they visit, but as friends in nearly every case. The average income of the families inquired into is about 28s. per week. The inquiry covered both town slums and rural districts.

Of the 479 inquiries made,

384 were in favour of school attendance:
95 were against.
In London,
46 were in favour;
7 were against.
Home conditions:
175 good;
164 medium;
140 poor.
Occupations of mothers:
139 were working away from home;
339 were at home.
2. Should Provision be Made for Children under Five?

Witness was in favour of sending children between three and five to school, provided the schools were organised on the lines of school nurseries or crèches, and that no formal lessons were given. Further, he believed that it would be if inestimable value to the country if in certain large towns arrangements could be made for attaching to girls' schools crèches in which even children younger than three could be taken, on payment of a small fee. These crèches would be conducted in separate rooms from those for children between three and five. The suggestion is made for two reasons : (1) A large number of parents in the large towns are in the habit of going out to work all day, leaving their children with "minders"; (2) the girls in the last year of the elementary school could be given practical instruction at the crèche in the important duties of feeding, clothing, washing a baby, etc. The second reason is even more important than the first. Deaths of children caused by improper feeding are found to be almost entirely due to the ignorance of the mothers.

One reason for sending children to school or to some form of nursery is that they are kept from the dangers attendant upon

*See also Appendix 10.

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their running constantly about the streets, where an amount of immorality exists, involving even children of this age. It would be an immense advantage in this respect to have the children looked after even if it were for a part of the day only.

Witness, however, advocated making provision for the young children during the whole of the day, placing them under the charge of nurses, and superseding the present "minders" by properly conducted crèches. The crèches would be opened at six o'clock in the morning in places where female labour is the custom. He thought there would be no difficulty in inducing parents to send their children to these crèches; many of them are only too glad to get them out of the way.

The foregoing suggestion refers only to the cases where children are suffering from lack of attention at home. Except for these cases, the home is the best place for a child and the mother is the proper person to look after it.

As to whether the adoption of such a system would increase the number of mothers who go out to work, witness pointed out that his experience showed that the children who are least cared for are those whose parents stay at home. With certain exceptions the mothers who go out to work are the thoughtful ones who want to provide for their children. There is certainly some danger that it would place a premium upon laziness, and especial attention would have to be given to those parents who were likely to abuse the opportunities provided. There is, however, an upward tendency in regard to the recognition by parents of their responsibilities towards their children, and it may he hoped that this tendency would be maintained, and that under the system proposed there would not be an increase in the number of lazy mothers.

V. Miss H. L. Pearse, Superintendent of the London County Council Nurses

1. Should Provision be made for Children under Five?

After many years' experience of nursing work in connection with poor homes in London, witness was very strongly of opinion that it was immensely important to admit young children from such homes to school. The only happy time that many of them have is when they are at school. Children with good homes should remain in them; but in the present state of things in London, it would be a terrible misfortune, both from the physical and the educational point of view, if all children under five were excluded from school. In respect of the acquisition not only or mental but of bodily habits children from poor homes who do not enter school until five are very greatly handicapped.

2. Educational Considerations

By attending school before five, children gain ground which otherwise they would have to make up afterwards. Witness had

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been struck by the apathy of children when first admitted to school. Owing to the bad conditions of the homes in which they live, the bad food and lack of warmth, they are sometimes months in school before beginning to take an active part in games and lessons. The influence of the school before five fits them to enter upon their school life proper when they reach that age.

3. Considerations of Health

(a) The Alternative to the School. Young children in poor districts who do not attend school are often locked up in one room for hours without attention, while the mothers are out at work. Either they are in danger from a fire in an open grate, or there is no fire and they suffer terribly from cold. When not locked in a room, they are left to run about alone in the streets. In either case it frequently happens that no attempt is made to keep them clean, this being done only when they go to school. Under such conditions, it is hopeless to expect children to acquire good and clean habits.

(b) Air of Homes and Schools. Witness' experience was wholly opposed to the contention that the atmosphere of the poorest homes is better than that of schools. The atmosphere of many of the houses she had visited was so noxious that it was difficult to breathe; this is often the case even where there is illness. She had never found a school-room in that condition. Schools differ widely in this respect; a great deal depends upon the teacher, and in London teachers are apt to keep the windows closed more than they ought. But even supposing it could be proved that the air of the home was, chemically, more pure than that of the school, she was of opinion that, warmth being of such great importance to little children, even a "stuffy" atmosphere would be less damaging to them than the cold from which many suffer so severely when not at school.

(c) Infectious Diseases. These are caught not only in the school, but also in the street, and children who are not attending school join in play with those who are. It is difficult, therefore, to estimate the effect of school upon such diseases. On the other hand, school attendance is advantageous in providing information as to cases of infectious disease, making it easier to control epidemics, and may even help to decrease infectious disease in the long run. It is true that teachers are not trained to detect such diseases, and that in some cases neither teacher nor nurse can say with certainty whether a child who is ailing is suffering from an illness of this character. The teachers, however, are becoming more careful, and when suspicious symptoms are observed the sufferer is sent at once to see a doctor, no attempt being made, either by teacher or nurse, to diagnose illnesses. Further, even if it could be proved that infection is increased to some extent by the school attendance of young children, the

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advantages of having such children at school would still very greatly outweigh the disadvantages.

(d) General Complaints. Ailments of ears and eyes amongst little children, which if left would lead to very serious trouble, are often noticed by the nurses in their early stages, and there is a chance to remedy them before they become permanent. The nurses are not supposed to treat minor troubles, such as cuts and sores, as this would encourage parents not to go to the doctor.

(e) Cleanliness. Many of the children are in a terribly bad condition as regards cleanliness, and the school visitation by nurses is beginning to bring about improvement in this respect. When children, especially very young children, are found in school dirty, uncared for, and improperly dressed, the nurse, if possible, visits the mothers, who are found to be must extraordinarily ignorant of those things vital to the welfare of children, such as cleanliness, food, and dress. This is the most that can be done in the case of children under five years or age, but parents have often been fined for constantly sending older children to school in an unclean condition. Such extreme measures are only taken in very bad cases, but the possibility acts as a powerful deterrent.

It is extremely important to promote cleanliness amongst the youngest children. If children are made to be clean when young, they will, because of their greater sensitiveness to dirt, take pains to keep themselves clean in after years. It is very desirable to insist upon the infants wearing their hair cut short; the parents would object to this in the case of older girls, but even these girls could be made to have their hair tied back. The provision of bathing arrangements is very important; regular baths have a wonderful effect on the physique of children, and have been noticed to make them actually more intelligent. It is necessary, however, to cleanse the clothes as well and also the homes in bad cases. The provision might conveniently be made by attaching a special department, with a separate entrance, to the public baths, such provision to include a disinfecting oven for the clothes. It would also be very desirable to arrange for the feeding of children when they are sent to be bathed; such arrangements at present are made, when made at all, by private persons. It is a very bad practice to send children to be bathed at places provided for verminous persons, as is sometimes done, the necessary facilities for cleansing being made at the present time by the Sanitary Authorities. It is to be hoped that eventually the educational authorities will be required to provide such facilities themselves; it would, however, be useless to have baths at the school, unless apparatus for disinfecting the clothes were also provided. The state of the clothes is often due to the fact that they are bought at second-hand clothing shops, and are in a filthy state when bought; such shops should be compulsorily inspected and their goods disinfected.

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(f) School Visitation by Sanitary Inspectresses. With regard to the plan which has been tried in one town of having sanitary inspectresses instead of nurses to visit the schools, witness did not think the plan a good one. It needs the very best training it is possible to get to fit a nurse to do the work which it is necessary for her to do at the schools. The training of a sanitary inspectress is not so definitely medical as that of a nurse, and she would probably be less quick in detecting signs of illness. Furthermore, apart from the question of capability, neither teachers nor parents would pay so much attention to anyone as they would to a nurse or a doctor.

4. Desire of Parents for Provision for Younger Infants

As a rule, it is only the poorest parents who send their children to school much before five. Usually these parents are glad to be able to do so. There are cases, however, where young children who could be sent to school are not sent because of the trouble of cleaning and dressing them, or even because of an insufficiency of clothes. Parents know that children will be sent home from school if they are in a very dirty condition; consequently, in some cases, when the children are in this state, to save the trouble of cleaning them they are kept at home. Generally, however, the parents are thankful to have some warm place to send the children to, and will make an attempt to cleanse them.

5. Nature of Provision Required

Witness was of opinion that children should attend the same schools as the older children and not separate institutions such us crèches. They then begin at once to form their habits under the people with whom they will work in the school proper; and as they have to come to school ultimately, it seems a waste of time to put them elsewhere for the first few years. Another advantage of this plan is that the older children can bring them to school and take them home.

There is certainly much to be said in favour of the French system of opening the institutions for the youngest children at an earlier hour in the morning than the ordinary schools, and of keeping them open later. Many mothers in London leave home for their work soon after six o'clock in the morning and go out again in the evening.

The baby-room should not be a place of formal mental training. No pressure should be put upon the children, and they should be allowed to sleep when they like. Playing with clay, drawing, and learning the sounds of letters, are things which can hardly be called work; and "Organised Games", which the children can join in or not, as they like, form a useful part of the curriculum. "Counting", which is sometimes taught, is quite useless, besides being harmful.

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A highly-trained teacher is not absolutely necessary. What is more important than the educational qualifications of the teacher is that she should be really in sympathy with the children, and very kind and patient. But very great care should be taken to select only those teachers who have that quality of sympathy.

In many baby-rooms now there are low tables and little chairs which the children themselves can carry. A good many of the old-fashioned galleries still remain, but they are being removed gradually.

The facilities for getting infants frequently into the playground are not always so good as they should be. But there is one point which must not be overlooked in this connection. The floor of the playgrounds is generally of concrete, and after rain is covered with pools of water. If the children are allowed to go into the playground at such a time, it means, their boots being frequently unsound, that they will be sitting in school for the rest of the day with wet feet.

6. Instruction of Older Girls in Care of Infants

As to whether advantage could be taken of the presence of little children in school, or of still younger children in crèches, to give practical instruction in the care of infants to the older girls, witness was of opinion that such an arrangement could only be made at the expense of the babies. Further, the girls have so much of this kind of work at home that they are sickened of it, and would not be interested. The parents, also, would resent having their babies attended to by the girls in the school, who might quite possibly be the daughters of near neighbours. Certainly some instruction in the care of babies ought to be given to the girls; but if practical work is undertaken it would be better to experiment on dolls than on babies.

7. Influence of Schools upon Homes

It is no doubt desirable to encourage the parents to visit the schools as often as possible in order that they may see the ideal conditions of cleanliness which prevail there; and they do come to the schools sometimes, either when sent for by the nurse or when invited to an exhibition of the children's work; at other times they come to see the teacher. It is to be feared, however, that the influence of such visits will not in itself be sufficient to make them appreciate the importance of cleanliness in their own homes. It is hardly to he expected that it will occur to them as possible to bring their small homes into similarity in any respect with the great building of the school.

The nurses visit the homes when possible, but owing to their limited number it is possible to do so in only occasional instances. The teachers also try to make themselves familiar with children's homes, and generally the head teacher knows the home conditions of each pupil.

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Witness was unable to say whether the work of the nurses at the schools was having an effect upon the home life of the people. They have only been at work for six years.

VI. Sister Petre and Sister Egerton, of the Convent of Sisters of Charity, Carlisle Place

1. General

The Roman Catholic Community encourage the attendance of children at their schools at an early age, because it is considered that the children are greatly benefited by such attendance. The bulk of the children attending Roman Catholic schools come from poor homes; but often they are from homes which are good on the whole, but where the mother, having several children and having all the housework to do, is glad to be relieved of them during the day. From whatever homes they came the children would be welcomed; but it is realised that where the home is poor the need for school provision at an early age is greater.

2. Educational and Moral Considerations

Children from three to five years of age are very readily influenced. Their homes are often unsuitable, and, when not attending school, they are allowed to go into the streets, where they are subjected to evil influences. In school, on the other hand, they are influenced for good. Children coming to school for the first time at the age of five from such homes have to unlearn a great deal that is bad and has done them harm. Their attendance at school during the earlier years not only is of positive good to them in a moral sense and in moulding their characters, but also keeps them during the time they are at school from being influenced for ill. It is to be remembered that when they are not at school they are for the most part in the streets, not in their homes.

Better results are obtained when children commence their education before five. Wherever they may be they use their mental powers before that age, and unless under proper guidance they use them in a wrong direction. They should not be pressed, but they need some occupation, and suitable occupation is not pressure but amusement. That they actually regard it as amusement is shown by the fact that once they have commenced attending they are eager to come to school. They can be taught the practice of certain virtues, self-control and discipline, gentleness and charity, at a very early age; and they can also be taught some religious principles. Children cannot begin too early to be influenced by religious motives. It is incorrect to suppose that the effect of religious teaching upon such young children is not lasting; on the contrary, such teaching forms the foundation of their whole religious training, and that training is made much more effectual by its early commencement.

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3. Physical Considerations

The witnesses were of opinion that the contention that children ought to be kept out of school as long as possible, because of the danger to health from infectious disease and from the impure atmosphere of the schools, was not justified.

The effect of school attendance upon cleanliness is important. The children can be taught habits of cleanliness, and the parents are influenced by the sisters and teachers, and advised where extra care is needed. Moreover, mothers are unwilling to send their children to school in a dirty state, and therefore take trouble to make them clean when otherwise they would not do so.

4. Existing Provision for Younger Infants in Schools conducted by the Sisters of Charity

(a) Curriculum. The instruction of children under five is chiefly in the form of amusement. They have drill and exercises, and a great deal of story-telling, singing, and games. A beginning is made with writing and reading, but there is no pressure of any kind. The religious teaching includes very little memory work, being chiefly made up of lessons by means of stories and pictures.

No lesson exceeds 20 minutes in length.

The children are taken into the playground frequently; and in summer the lessons are often taken in the open air.

Children falling asleep in school are not awakened. No special sleeping arrangements are made; the children sleep at their desks.

The school hours are from 9.30 till 12 in the morning, and from 1.30 till 4 in the afternoon.

(b) Premises and Equipment. Plenty of space is provided in the class-rooms, and the children are frequently moved about from room to room. As a rule there are not more than 20 or 30 infants under a single teacher. Dual desks are used, and these can be pushed back to make space for games. Plants, toys, birds, and sometimes pet animals, are provided.

(c) Teachers. Those teachers are selected for the instruction of younger infants who show particular aptitude for the work. Some of them go through a course of training with special reference to infants.

5. Crèches conducted by the Sisters of Charity

Crèches for children under three years of age are connected with some of the schools conducted by the Sisters of Charity. Mothers at work during the day leave their young children there to be cared for and fed. The children are washed as soon as they arrive in the morning. Sometimes it is necessary

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to change their clothes, but as a rule the parents object to this being done. A small payment is made by those parents who can afford it. The crèche is open from eight o'clock in the morning till six or seven at night. As soon as the children reach the age of three they go to the school; but some of them return to the crèche each day for dinner. The crèche is purely a nursery, there being no kind of teaching whatever. The rooms are furnished with small chairs, and beds are provided.



I. Mr. G. W. Alexander, Clerk to the Edinburgh School Board

[Before taking up his present position, Mr. Alexander had been Clerk to the Glasgow School Board for 14½ years.]

1. Actual Conditions in Scotland as Regards Children under Five
(a) Statistics. In 1869, that is prior to the Education (Scotland) Act, 1872, the percentage of scholars under five years of age to the total number of scholars was as follows:

Under 4Between
4 and 5
In schools examined for grant1.294.23
In schools simply inspected0.492.02

In the latest report of the Scotch Education Department the figures are:

Under 3One child
Between 3 and 41,172 or 0.15 per cent
Between 4 and 510,946 or 1.36 per cent

In Glasgow the percentage of scholars under five is 1.07, and in Edinburgh it is only 0.5. In these towns head teachers have not recently (in Edinburgh since 1891) had any authority to admit children under five. The only exception is that children just on the verge of five may be admitted. Home circumstances are not taken in to account in considering applications. In a few other large towns these children are excluded; but elsewhere they are admitted.

The number of children under five in attendance is still decreasing slowly.

The Roman Catholic Schools admit children at an early age, and the majority of school children under five in Scotland are in voluntary schools.

(b) Legal Position. As regards the legal power of school boards to refuse admission to children between three and five,

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witness said that it was difficult to state the exact legal position. In 1894 it was laid down in the Code that fees were not to be exacted from children between 3 and 15; the Glasgow School Board took this to imply a tacit obligation on school boards to provide education for children between three and five, and accordingly memorialised the Scotch Education Department. They were informed that the new regulation did not alter the position in this respect; that if they had been entitled to refuse admission to such children before, they were still entitled to do so.

(c) Practice in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The practice now in Glasgow is that as soon as a child reaches the age of five the school board use what pressure they can through the attendance officers to get the child to school; but if the parent refuses to send it, no stronger action is taken until the age of 5½ is reached. At the latter age, if the parent still refuses, he is summoned before the Board; but the Board do not actually prosecute in respect of the attendance of any child under six. The procedure is practically the same in Edinburgh.

(d) Rural Districts. As regards the attendance of the young children in rural districts, the witness read two letters indicating that in the two districts therein referred to there is very little attendance of children living in the outlying districts before five, although it is permitted, and that there is a good deal of difficulty in getting them before six. It appeared that in those places there was little difficulty in connection with the out-work of mothers who have little children.

(e) Nature of Instruction. In consequence of the late age of entry there is less of the simpler forms of kindergarten in Scottish schools than there is in the babies' rooms in England; and the children commence much sooner after entering school upon formal instruction in the "three R's".

(f) Crèches, etc. In Glasgow there is a system of day nurseries, and there are also four institutions of this character in Edinburgh and two Free Kindergartens. As to whether parents are able to pay the fees charged in the day nurseries in Glasgow (which are 3d. for one child, 6d. for two, and 8d. for three), witness said that that question had been raised, and it had been pointed out that a woman going out to work could not herself keep the child on very much less than 3d. a day. The day nurseries are under private management; but the Medical Officer of Health takes an interest in them, and visits them occasionally. There are also day nurseries in Dundee and Paisley.

Witness was not aware whether there was any large number of places, other than recognised crèches, where children were looked after by professional "minders", but a good many are taken care of during the daytime when their mothers are working by relatives and neighbours.

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2. Reasons for Present System

As to why there is so little attendance of children under five at schools in Scotland, all one can say is that it is a question of "use and wont".

Grants have been payable under the Code for all children over three years of age since at least 1873; but there has never been any general demand for the admission of children under five, and the demand for admission between five and six is not very great.

So far as the witness had been able to ascertain the question of admitting or excluding such children did not arise in any Scottish School Board until 1891. In that year the regulations with regard to the charging of fees was altered, and for the first time the ages of five to fourteen were specified as those between which free education should be provided. Arising out of this alteration a suggestion was made in the House of Commons that the lower age should be three instead of five, following the English custom. The Edinburgh School Board then forwarded a resolution to the Department disapproving of the proposed extension of the privilege of free education to children under five as tending to weaken parental responsibility and to create serious difficulty as regards accommodation and staffing.

Witness read two extracts from the annual reports of the School Attendance Committee of the Glasgow School Board. In 1875 it was stated that "there seems to be a general objection on the part of parents to send their children to school under six years of age". In the 1879 report an allusion was made to the 8,535 children "considered by their parents as too young for school, whose claim to judge of this matter has always been admitted by the Board".

The fact that in Glasgow and Edinburgh teachers are not authorised to admit children under five would in itself account for the small number of such children attending school in those towns; but the fact that outside the large towns there is no actual exclusion of such children, and that yet the proportion for the whole country is so small rather shows that there is no general demand for provision for these children in schools.

3. Effects of Exclusion

Witness thought that probably there had never been occasion in Scotland to consider the question from an educational point of view; though personally he believed that it made little difference in this respect whether a child attended school before five or not. He did not think that the non-attendance of children before six had a bad effect on their later education now that the age of exemption had been raised to 14 for all children, though it might have been so when children were leaving school as soon as they passed the fifth standard.

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The attendance of older children is not affected to any great extent by the exclusion of the younger ones; no doubt an older girl is kept at home sometimes to look after the younger ones, when the mother is ill for instance, but the excuse is not often made.

Witness was unable to give an opinion as to whether the non-attendance of young children was one of the reasons which had led to the small amount of employment of married women in Scotland.

4. Need for Provision for Young Children

Where the home circumstances are good there is no need to make public provision for the young children from those homes. In the poorer parts of the cities, however, where a larger proportion of mothers have to earn a living, children under five should be admitted, not to ordinary schools, but to some sort of institution like a kindergarten. It is altogether a question of environment. In cities like Glasgow a considerable number of places of this kind might usefully be established.

The witness did not think there was anything in the nature of the housing of the poorer classes in Scotland which called for a different treatment there than in England. He did not think the great amount of "Flat" life in Scotland had much bearing on the question, and he did not think the homes of the poorer classes in Scotland were better than in the industrial towns of England. There is one thing which may affect the question, namely, that there are probably fewer married women going out to work in Scotland than in England; but census statistics as to this, though available for England, are not available for Scotland.

II. Mr. J. Clark, Clerk to the Glasgow School Board

1. Actual Conditions in Glasgow as regards Children under Five

(a) Statistics. The number of children in Glasgow between the ages of three and five is about 28,000.

In the middle of October, 1906, there were 379 children under five in Board Schools and 752 in voluntary schools. Thus, although the voluntary schools have barely a quarter of the total school population, they have double as many "under fives" as the Board Schools. The explanation is probably to be found in the fact that the children in those schools come from the poorest homes, and very young children are allowed to accompany their elder brothers and sisters to keep up the attendance and ensure as many grant-earning units as possible.

(b) Procedure in Glasgow. The attendance of children under the compulsory age of five is not specifically forbidden, though it is not encouraged, and the School Board do not prosecute for

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the non-attendance of any children under six. Consequently there is considerable difficulty in getting children into school before the age of five and a half.

(c) Accommodation. Room might have been found for children under five in certain districts in the centre of the city proper, where several schools have recently been closed owing to the tendency of the better class of working people to move out to the suburbs; but comparing the total number of school places with the number of children above three years of age, it is found that, taken all over, the accommodation is inadequate, and in the schools on the confines of the city hopelessly inadequate.

(d) Nature of Instruction. The "kindergarten system" strictly so called hardly exists, probably because of the late age of entry, but much of the early work is kindergarten in character. If infants below the statutory age were present in larger numbers the work would no doubt become more closely akin to the kindergarten system proper.

(e) Day Industrial Schools. It is contrary to the regulations to admit children under five to these schools. As a matter of fact, children who are not quite five may sometimes be exceptionally admitted when the home circumstances are not satisfactory; but the number is negligible.

Crèches. There are only six day nurseries in the whole of Glasgow, and only four within the area of the Glasgow School Board. This is not sufficient, of course, to cope with all the children for whom provision is needed. They are all under voluntary agencies, and no grant is made by the School Board. The usual charges are 3d. a day for one child, 6d. for two, and 8d. for three. They are open from 5.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m., and on Saturdays from 5.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

2. Reasons for Non-Attendance of Children Under Five at Elementary Schools

Apart from the absence of statutory obligation on the part of the Board, and the belief on the part of many that it is inadvisable from the educational point of view to encourage the attendance of very young children, the question of accommodation is probably one important reason for the discouragement of the attendance of children under five.

In the second place, there has always been a strong antipathy on the part of the School Board to prosecute for non-attendance under the age of six; and this has no doubt helped to form the popular opinion that children should not attend until a late age.

There is no general desire on the part of parents for public provision for children under five. This is partly due to Scottish traditions of home life. In some cases, too, the parents consider

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that eight years (i.e., from six to fourteen) is quite long enough for a child to be at school; and in the case of a certain class of parent the whole question is regarded with sheer indifference. Most of all, however, it is due to the fact that the whole training of the people has been in the direction of a late age of entry. From the beginning of the educational system five or six has been looked upon as the age when children enter school, and there has been no encouragement - but on the contrary, active discouragement - to send them sooner. Parents have not deliberately chosen the home in preference to the school; they are aware that there is no obligation on the part of the Board to accept children under five, nor on their part to send them. They have never had the alternative really offered to them; consequently the fact that there is no demand does not indicate that there is no need.

3. Results of Present System

As to where the children of the poorest classes are, who are not in school or crèche, witness stated that he was afraid they were badly looked after. The matter was a serious one, and he believed that a good deal of infantile mortality was caused by the fact that the younger children in the poorest class of home were not properly cared for.

The attendance of the older girls is often interfered with by their being kept at home to look after the little children.

The late entrance age is no doubt a contributory cause of the low percentage of pupils in the supplementary classes; but the principal reason for this is different - viz., that there has not been time yet to get rid of the effects of the old organisation of the ordinary elementary school, which, as it devoted a year to each standard, was not suitable for passing children on to these classes at the age of twelve or even of thirteen.

4. Need for Public Provision

There is no doubt that the absence of public provision for children under five, so far as the poorest classes are concerned, is a crying evil. The evils of slum life in relation to these children cannot be minimised. Probably the evil influences of the slums upon them affect their whole lives and make the whole question of education right up to fourteen more difficult.

As to whether the required provision should be made publicly or by voluntary agencies, witness was of opinion that a need so urgent calls for something beyond mere voluntary work, it being understood that some payment should be made by the parent, except in destitute cases.

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5. Nature of Provision Required

Even apart from statutory obligation, it would be better that the provision should be made by means of day nurseries, play-rooms, or some place not strictly educational, on the analogy of the good home, because in schools there is a danger, even under the kindergarten system, of lack of spontaneity. There is a danger also of attempts being made to press children on, and there is the further fact of antagonism to school altogether on the part of many parents of this class. Witness, however, was prepared to admit that it might not be impossible to secure the proper conditions in a school. There might be some advantage in having the nursery in connection with the school, in that it might help to secure regularity of attendance of older scholars and the attendance of children directly they reached school age.

He was of opinion that, under existing Acts, the School Board would have no power to make grants or expend money on such institutions unless they were educational in character and under direct control of the Board.


I. Miss Harriet Beck, Head Assistant of Milton House School, Edinburgh

1. Present Conditions in Edinburgh with Regard to the Admission of Children Under Five to Public Elementary Schools

There is very little provision for children under five years of age in the schools of Edinburgh. Until 1891 some children were admitted at the ages of four and five; but now the School Board does not provide accommodation for children under five.

2. Need for Provision for Children Under Five

The voluntary efforts which have been made have been in response to a very urgent necessity in slum districts. In the case of mothers who go out to work there is continual conflict between the School Board and the parents because an elder sister is kept at home to look after the little ones. To a great extent the difficulty is left to be solved by each individual teacher, and often a little child comes and sits all day in the class where the elder sister is.

3. Free Kindergartens

(a) Institution of Free Kindergartens. An elementary teacher, Miss Howden, being very much impressed with the diffi-

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culties arising from the lack of provision for young children, determined to do what she could to remedy the evil by establishing free kindergartens for such children. She did not live to carry out her proposed scheme, but she left a certain amount of money, which has been supplemented by voluntary contributions, and a group of Edinburgh teachers has since carried on the work.

(b) Present Number. There are only two free kindergartens in Edinburgh. There are also four day nurseries, similar to those in Glasgow - only one in connection with the scheme started by Miss Howden. Them is room for double that number in the one district of Canongate.

(c) Scheme of Work. The work is not only humanitarian, but also educational; and accordingly a highly-trained teacher has been engaged.

The children take part in the housework, arranging the tables for lunch, sweeping and dusting and putting away the material used in work and play.

They work in the garden - digging, and watering flowers.

They spend a great part of the time in free play; and a dolls' house and many toys have been provided.

A bed has been provided in case of sickness; but there have been only one or two cases of illness.

(d) Number of Children. The numbers are not allowed to go above thirty, and for these there are two trained teachers, Witness did not think that any kindergarten should have more than twenty-five children in the usual way.

(e) Age of Leaving. Children leave when they are old enough to go to a Board School, and then go straight there without a break.

(f) Class of Children. It is desired to provide for the children of wage-earning mothers, who are widows or deserted wives, or whose husbands are invalid or drunken; it is not intended to give an opportunity to mothers to add to their husbands' earnings.

(g) Responsibility of Parents. An objection often urged against this kind of work is that it tends to destroy parents' sense of responsibility towards their children. It has been found, however, that far from doing this it has had the effect of enlightening parents, and has brought them to regard their children from a different standpoint. Parents are invited to come to the school occasionally, and they very seldom refuse these invitations, and they show interest in anything that concerns their children. It should be noted that the children are not taken quite out of their hands, but are simply looked after during the time that the mothers have to be at work. The feeling of the parents is one of deep gratitude for this help.

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(h) Connection with Elementary Schools. It is better that these kindergartens should not be connected with the schools, because they are meant to be of the character of a home as well as of a school.

(At the request of Miss Hamilton and Miss Thompson, their evidence has not been published.)

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(For the Table of Contents of this part of the Report see page 5.)



The Crèche System in Belgium is not developed as it is in France, nor does there seem (with the exception of Liège) much movement in this direction.* There is no list of crèches extant, any more than there is in England. Each institution is managed independently by philanthropic committees or societies, some receiving a grant from their own particular Commune, some entirely subsisting on subscriptions or donations. These crèches are mostly carried on in private houses adapted for the purpose; there are few new buildings - none at all in Brussels. In the suburbs there is more movement; St. Gilles has a new crèche for 100 children; Molenbeek-St-Jean has a splendid building to provide for 150, and there are a few others. Liège is a notable exception. (See page 139.)

The chief characteristic of the Belgian crèche is the addition of the Ecole-Gardienne, which admits children up to the age of 6. There are very few crèches without this second section, as will be seen in the following pages.

With regard to the apparent indifference to the crèche system in Belgium, this will be best illustrated by naming the few towns which have crèches at all.

In Brussels there are 4 crèches, in the suburbs 12, in Liège 6; Antwerp has 4, Ghent 4, Grammont 2; Mons, Ostend, Beaumont, Chimay, Hensey, Naumur, Louvain, Malines, Morlanwelz, Mauremont, Lize, Huy, Tournai, and Willebroeck have each 1. This makes the total number of crèches in Belgium 46. The number of children under three years old in 1900 was 479,488. (Annuaire, 1907). Most of these crèches are in industrial centres, where women are obliged to go out to work. Many of them are founded by religious communities, in order to bring up children in the Catholic religion, though this remark would apply more forcibly to the private Ecoles-Gardiennes.

*For full account of crèches in France see page 171.

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A few words written in 1906, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Crèche de la Charité, illustrates this. "Laissez venir à moi les petits enfants" is the crèche motto. While the idea of hygiene entirely dominates the opening of new crèches in France, the religious ideal still holds sway in Belgium, except in those cases where the Commune has taken them over. "The crèche", says the above-mentioned pamphlet, "is pre-eminently a social institution. Its object is to enable workers - both men and women - to obtain the maximum wages for their work. How many poor households there are in which the struggle for existence obliges not only the father but the mother to seek remunerative work in order to enable them to bring up large families. Often the work cannot be done at home. If the mother is forcibly kept at home by her duty to the children she loses the money she might gain: and this may mean want and misery in the home. If, urged by need, she abandons her home and goes to work, what dangers surround the children; and how many little ones have perished, victims of this neglect! How can we reconcile these conflicting interests? How can we permit parents to work away from home without the children suffering? Here the crèche steps in. It is a substitute for the family hearth, a refuge for children during the day, a place where they find protection and help, where they receive material comfort, where also they receive moral and mental care, good advice, and that religious instruction so often lacking in the home. Later in life, despite possible digressions, this early teaching fills a secret want in the soul - the divine germ of regeneration. This work requires the sacrifice and devotion of a true mother. Materially and morally the crèche should supply the family with a model from every point of view. The ideal Directrice of a crèche must possess a watchfulness that never sleeps, a calm that nothing can alarm, an equability that cannot be upset, intelligence that no difficulties will surprise, energy that never flags, and self-denial that no trials will discourage."


But although the Belgian Communes do little for their crèches (Liège always excepted), there has been a movement the last few years to combat infant mortality by means of such institutions as "Laiteries Maternelles", "Gouttes de Lait", etc. This movement has been stimulated by the holding of the Second Congress of the "Gouttes de Lait", in the Palais des Academies, at Brussels, from September 12th-16th, 1907, under the patronage of the Prince and Princess Albert. The first Congress was held at Paris, 1905: the next will be held at Berlin in 1910.

Each year in Belgium 30,000 children under one year old die. A "Ligue Nationale belge pour la protection de I'enfance du premier age" was formed in 1904, and at once issued their "Instructions to Mothers" (see Appendix 11). "Consultations des Nourissons", "Gouttes de Lait", "Laiteries Maternelles", and "Le Lait pour Ies Petits", all with the same object, and slightly varying rules and prices, were started all over the

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country (see Appendices 12 and 13). There are ten centres in Brussels and suburbs, one at Antwerp, one at Liège, and one at Hodiment.


The Commune, under the head of Public Charity, gives a grant of 10,500 francs per annum to the Crèches in Brussels. This is divided among four crèches, This Crèche Mère contains 53 beds; the Crèche de la Société Protectrice de l'Enfance, 50 beds; the Crèche de la Charité, 45 beds; and the Crèche Grimberghe, 26 beds. Total, 174 beds.

1. The Crèche Mère (Boulevard du Midi) is the oldest crèche in Belgium, having been founded in 1845 on the model of the crèche founded in Paris the year before. It served as a type for all the others started in the country, other large towns sending to this Royal Philanthropic Society for instructions and plans. The crèche is under medical inspection of the Commission of Hygiene in Brussels, and, though of old construction, keeps its sanitary arrangements up to date. The rooms are warmed by radiators, the food cooked on gas stoves, and the offices specially fitted after an English pattern, and worked with running water. The crèche is always full, often having 60 children ranging in age from 15 days to three years. It is absolutely free, and only open to the children of exceedingly poor mothers, who are obliged to earn their own living. The average expense per child per day is reckoned at 41 centimes. The total expenses for the year were over 6,539 francs, of which the chief items were: Salaries of nurses, 720 francs; expenses of food and clothing for 55 children, 5,500 francs. Towards this the Commune gave 1,500 francs. The King also gave a substantial grant; but this included the Hospital of the Blind and other charities which exist in the same building. This is the only crèche in Brussels that has not an Ecole-Gardienne attached.

2. Crèche-Ecole Gardienne (Rue t'Kint) under the Société Protectrice de l'Enfance de Belgique, was started in two small rooms in 1866 by six philanthropists, two of whom were doctors. It was managed by a Directrice with one servant, but soon outgrew its quarters and moved to larger premises. Unfortunately, quarrels took place between members of the Committee on religious questions, and one day several members went to the crèche to find it empty. Directrice, staff, and children had all gone to establish themselves in another dwelling, where the work could be carried on on other lines than those prescribed by the Committee.

Finally, a certain proportion of the crèche staff moved to its present quarters in the Rue t'Kint, where a large private house has been adapted to its requirements. It is now administered by a Council of twenty members, including a President, two Vice-Presidents, two Secretaries, two Inspectors and a Treasurer. Children are received from the age of fifteen days to three years in the crèche, which has sixty-six children, with four nurses and

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a helper. At the age of three they pass on to the Ecole-Gardienne, in the same building. The ordinary conditions of admission to the crèche are in force; the sum charged is 75 centimes a week for one child, 1 franc 20 centimes for two, and 1 franc 50 centimes a week for three, if belonging to one family. For this the children are fed, but not clothed. The crèche is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in summer and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in winter; it is closed on Sundays, feast-days, and other days observed as general holidays. A doctor attends the crèche, but not daily. The children have their food in the room where their cots stand. There are no pouponnières in the Brussels crèches, though some have a small "fold". In the Ecole-Gardienne there are ninety children in three classes, with three teachers. They are entirely taught on the Froebel methods, specimens of their work hanging on the walls. The cost of this establishment for one year was 24,987 francs, the chief items being rent, 3,700 francs, and warming, lighting, food, and salaries of staff, 17,684 francs. Towards these expenses the Commune gave 5,000 francs, the Province 1,563 francs, the National Bank 200 francs, while the parents' payments amounted to 3,024 francs.

3. Crèche-Ecole Gardienne de la Charité (Rue du Beguinage) was founded in 1881, and kept its twenty-fifth anniversary last year, 1906. It was the direct outcome of the last crèche, for when the members of the Société Protectrice de l'Enfance differed seriously among themselves on the subject of religious teaching the managing staff took the children and started in other premises. This became the nucleus of the Crèche de la Charité, which has ever since been carried on under Catholic auspices and has grown beyond all limit. Over 550 children daily attend this establishment, which is divided into five sections. The first is the crèche proper, for babies from fifteen days to eighteen months, for which several rooms are reserved at the top of the house (which has been adapted from a private residence, every bit of available space being utilised). There are several rooms with cots and small chairs; cooking has to be done in a passage, and the flor d' avoine on which the babies are fed is warmed up in their sleeping room. Those of a year old are in a larger room, with toys and playthings. The second section of children, from eighteen months to three years, spend their time in the garden when weather permits, or in a large playground on the storey below. Here there is a sort of single pouponnière, which is used for the children's meals. After their food they are put to sleep in hammocks specially constructed for this crèche by the Directrice, Mme. Ursule Van Ingelgem. These hammocks are made of canvas stretched across long bars of iron (gas piping), painted pale blue. When not being used, they are ingeniously folded up close against the wall, in batches of five and seven, so that they take up no room. Seventeen of these folding hammocks, fitted and painted, cost 350 francs. They were made by a local locksmith.

The third section is composed of children from three to four,

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who form the Ecole-Gardienne. They are taught, in a small class-room, songs, prayers, games, and Froebel manual work. All children from three to six are fed daily on meat, potatoes, and vegetables, having also slices of bread and jam before they go home. The accommodation is very insufficient for the large numbers present. The fourth section takes children from four to five and a half, who learn the first elements of reading and writing, as well as catechism, arithmetic, recitation, singing, and gymnastics. The fifth section takes children from five and a half to seven.

In 1883 a primary school was started for boys and girls leaving the fifth section of the Crèche Ecole-Gardienne. It was adopted by the Commune in 1893, and now contains 400 children. The whole establishment is under the Directrice, Mme. Van Ingelgem, who keeps the children from babyhood to the age of fourteen under her protection, bringing them all up in the Catholic religion. A large Committee of ladies ably support her, and a Sub-Committee of young girls has lately been added to help in the work of collecting subscriptions. Those who manage to get ten subscriptions of 5 francs each secure the right of calling a cot in the crèche by their own name. So devotedly do these ladies work that every year on St. Nicholas Day every child in the crèche is given a complete outfit, representing an annual outlay of several thousand francs. Most of the parents contribute something. The cost for one child under three, including feeding and part clothing, is 15 centimes a day, for children over three, 10 centimes a day, for children bringing their own food 10 centimes a week.

In 1905 the total expenditure was 30,413 francs, towards which the parents' contribution amounted to 4,000 francs and grants from Commune and Province to 6,000 francs, leaving two-thirds to private enterprise.

4. Crèche de Grimberghe (Place de la Douane) has an average of thirty children. The establishment is under the "Société Protectrice des Enfants Martyrs", and includes a refuge for 125 children and a Laiterie Maternelle. The building, which faces the Quay, has been adapted for this purpose, and the space is inadequate for the children. The crèche is managed by a Directrice and two nurses. The children are undressed, washed, and reclothed every morning on arrival at the crèche. There is a Committee of twelve ladies, who undertake to supply the crèche with all necessary garments, and who in one year supplied no less than 505 garments. The crèche is worked on the ordinary lines of management; it is open from six to eight daily. It is free to most mothers, but the Directrice may, after due inquiry, demand 10 centimes a day if she thinks necessary. A doctor visits the crèche daily. Up to the age of six months children are fed solely on milk; the amount of nourishment is regulated by the doctor. The elder children rest after their mid-day meal on canvas hammocks stretched across narrow piping. While they rest the femmes de service take their dinner and clean the crèche. There is no garden attached to the crèche. "La crèche ne doit jamais sentir mauvais" was among the rules

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printed in a special pamphlet for the use of the crèche. This crèche works in connection with the Laiterie Maternelle which was started in 1897, the first in Belgium. It supplies the crèche with the very purest milk - always sterilised - and sells it to mothers in specially stoppered bottles holding 50 to 250 grammes at the rate of 30 centimes the litre, or 15 centimes the half-litre.


The population of this suburb is 60,086 (1905).

It has one crèche, with 100 beds, and will soon have accommodation for another 100 children in the Ecole-Gardienne which is in the same magnificent building. The Commune gives 5,000 francs a year towards expenses, to which is added the parents' fees, and a Committee of Management collects the rest. The crèche with 25 beds was founded in 1870 by a few charitable people. It was intended for children of all denominations; but in 1894 both building and organisation were recognised as defective, and the Commune decided to build a new crèche in a more central position for the working population of St. Gilles. Plans were prepared, and, under the Architect of the Commune, the building was completed on the most modern and approved lines, at great cost. A large and beautifully planted garden is attached.

Throughout the length of the building runs a long corridor, on one side of which doors lead into the play-room, dining-room, and two class-rooms for the Ecole-Gardienne; on the other side into bath-room, kitchens, waiting-rooms, cloak-rooms, etc. On the floor above this is a large room, with 70 cots arranged round the three sides of the walls, and accommodation for 30 older children from two to three, to rest during part of the day. At the end of each cot is a small chair, and a card above each cot gives an account of the donor and small occupant. A small room leading out of this large nursery, but also accessible from the outside, is set apart for nursing mothers to feed their babies daily. In the centre of the large nursery is a table with chairs, where the Berceuses attend to the wants of the small babies, feed them, and change their linen. The room was quite airy land fresh, and sunshine was streaming in. At the fourth side of the mom were stretched canvases on iron frames, covered with movable sheets of mackintosh, where the older children rest at mid-day. On the opposite side of the corridor were the Directrice's rooms, linen room, etc.

Conditions of Admission. Children are admitted from a fortnight old to three years in the crèche, and pass on to the Ecole Gardienne, where they are taught at present in two classrooms, one for those from three to four, and the other for those from four to five. They are not kept after the age of five. Every child whose parents live in the Commune can be admitted if there is room. On admission the parents must fill up a paper stating

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the name of the child, their own profession and home address, also a certificate of birth and a voucher that the child has been vaccinated. The crèche admits neither sick children nor children from an infected house. They cannot be definitely admitted until they have been visited by a crèche doctor.

Payment is required weekly. It is at the rate of 60 centimes per child, 45 centimes each for two children, and 30 centimes for each of three children of a family. The crèche also receives children paid for by the Charity Bureau. In these cases the parents must make a statement when the child is admitted, and produce the certificate from the Charity Bureau. The crèche is open every day in the year except Sundays and feast-days, and other days arranged by the Executive Committee. It is open from 6.30 a.m. from May 1st to August 31st, and 7 a.m. from September 1st to April 30th. It is closed every evening at 8 p.m.

The Staff consists of a Directrice, two teachers, nurses and femmes de service, a cook, and a concierge. The staff is appointed and discharged by the Executive Committee, which also fixes the salaries. The whole establishment - except the concierge, who receives orders direct from the Committee - is under the Directrice. The Directrice is responsible for all accidents which may happen Ito children during their stay at the crèche. She has to keep registers of attendance, of household expenses, linen, clothes, etc. She can buy nothing without leave from the Executive Committee, neither can she absent herself without their permission. The Directrice, teachers, and nurses are lodged and boarded at the expense of the crèche.

To the dames patronnesses are attributed the usual duties; but the dames patronnesses in Brussels do not seem quite so assiduous in visiting as those who superintend the Paris crèches. The whole staff are called on to fulfil their duties with "tact, sweetness, zeal, and intelligence"; they must love the children, and inspire their love in return; they must treat them with the care and attention claimed by their tender age, at the same time maintaining order and discipline. Corporal punishment is strictly forbidden.

The concierge cleans windows, vestibules, court and classrooms, keeps the basement, garden, committee-rooms, and secretariat, as well as being responsible for the lighting and warming of the establishment.

Hygiene. Three doctors are attached to the crèche-école-gardienne; but there is less medical supervision, on the whole, in the Belgian crèches than in the French. They have to certify that the most scrupulous cleanliness has been observed, that the floors are well washed and the windows opened, that the beds have been aired and dried, the offices disinfected, and the baby-linen is irreproachable. To this end it is requested that every child shall be washed before being brought to the crèche. Parents who neglect to bring their babies perfectly clean are warned by the Directrice; and, if they still refuse to follow her instructions, they are requested to remove the child. Every

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child is re-dressed in crèche clothes on arrival, and, if necessary, washed. Each has its own sponge, basin, handkerchief, cup, plate, and spoon. When the weather permits, a bath is given to each child at least once a week, under the superintendence of the Directrice. The ventilation of the rooms must be uniform, without children being exposed to draughts. They should be kept at a temperature of 18 deg. Cent. Children should be kept out of doors whenever it is fine enough. They are all fed at the crèche-école-gardienne. Neither flowers nor painted toys are allowed in the rooms used by the children. This is the menu for one week for children over two*:

11.15. Soup, with meat, potatoes, rice, vegetables.
3.15. Boiled rice and milk.

11.15. Soup without meat, potatoes, rice, vegetables.
3.15. Rice and milk.

11.15. Soup, with meat, potatoes, rice, vegetables.
3.15. Rice and milk.

11.15. Soup without meat, potatoes, rice, vegetables.
3.15. Potatoes, bread, beer.

Friday - Same as Thursday.

11.15. Soup, with meat, potatoes, rice, vegetables.
3.15. Semolina and milk.

Every day at 5.30 bread and jam are given, and milk and water. During the day thirsty children are given a decoction of herb tea and liquorice to drink.

The following rules are printed for the Staff of this crèche:

"Never hasten the little ones unduly; let them crawl on the floor and get up without help when they are able. Never disturb a child asleep. Cover the child lightly. Raise its head slightly in bed. Never let it sit up long in its chair. Do not restrain a child's movements by its clothes. Scold rarely, and always act with the greatest tenderness. Never raise a child by one arm. Never put a child on your lap and expose it to the laughter of others. Never excite it to anger or tears. In case of convulsions, remove it at once from other children and inform doctor."
Time Table. The children who pass from Crèche to Ecole-Gardienne observe the following time-table:

11.30-3. Weaving, singing, folding, action games.

Tuesday. 9-11. Singing, bricks, recreation, talk, first gift.
11.30-3. Plaiting, singing, 4th gift, action songs.

Monday. 9-11. Singing, beads, recreation, third gift, talk.

Wednesday. 9-11. Singing, second gift, recreation, beads, poetry.
11.30-3, Weaving, singing, sticks, action songs.

*The Directrice told me she gave less potatoes than prescribed in menu.

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Thursday. 9-11. Singing, third gift, recreation, plaiting, talk.
11.30-3. Singing, bricks, action songs.

Friday. 9-11. Singing, fourth gift, recreation, beads, talk
11.30-3. Sticks, song, first gift, action songs.

Saturday. 9-11. Songs, bricks, recreations, plaiting, poetry.
11.30-3. Folding, singing, talk.

All the children attending the Ecole-Gardienne have a rest after their 11.15 meal. For this purpose there are long benches the whole way round a good-sized room, with wooden backs, and here the children lounge and sleep, in uncomfortable positions. A teacher sits in the room, which is darkened. The arrangement of the benches is not to be commended, though the rest hour is undoubtedly good. A better arrangement for resting the children attending the Ecoles-Gardiennes is given on page 134.

At St. Nicholas large presents of clothes, toys and bonbons are made to children of the Crèche-Ecole Gardienne, especially to those who have been found most deserving.

The cost per child at this establishment was given me by the Treasurer as 62 centimes per head per day. The accounts are not forthcoming.


Population 70,649 in 1905.

In inadequate quarters this Crèche-Ecole-Gardienne is carried on vigorously. The average attendance for 1906 at the crèche was 42 per day; at the école-gardienne 87 per day.

The total expenses for the year were 21,291 francs, towards which the Province contributed 608 francs, the Commune 4,000 francs, the King 300 francs, mothers' payments amounted to 2,307 francs, and subscriptions to 2,748 francs.

The Staff consists of a Directrice (newly appointed from Liège), two teachers, three nurses, three servants, and a femme de service. Two doctors give their services free. A committee of ladies devote themselves to the children, having collected no less than 2,171 francs to spend on clothes and toys for the children at St. Nicholas.


In 1847 M. Abry, then Controller of the Liège Hospitals, drew the attention of the Communal Administration to the utility of crèches. He suggested turning part of an old convent into a crèche, and the Administration accepted his offer, appropriating for this purpose several rooms of the disused convent. Mr. Abry collected the necessary funds, and in 1849 the first crèche was opened at Liège, with accommodation for fifty babies.

In 1859 another generous philanthropist resolved to found a second crèche, in another part of the town. He bought some land and built a new crèche, to hold fifty beds, which was opened in 1861.

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A third crèche was built in 1873 by private enterprise. But in 1879 the situation changed, and the Commune undertook the charge of the crèches. A fourth was built under Communal direction in 1893, containing 100 beds, and two more have been opened in 1906 and 1907; containing respectively 100 and fifty beds. These crèches, frequented by some 500 children, cost the Commune annually 55,000 francs.

They are open from 5.30 a.m. in summer and 6 in winter to 8 p.m. They are entirely free, and children can remain to the age of three. A committee of ladies, appointed by the Communal Administration, visit the crèches constantly and contribute greatly towards their success.

At the head of each crèche is a Directrice; her salary begins at 1,100 francs, after five years of service it is increased to 1,300 francs, and after ten years to 1,500 francs. In addition to this she has board and lodging, light and firing. A doctor is attached to each crèche; his salary begins at 300 francs, after five years it is raised to 400 francs, after ten years to 500 francs, and after fifteen years to 600 francs, The berceuses and other workers at the crèches receive 600 francs, rising to 750 francs after fifteen years' service.

The general expenses for 1907 amounted to 89,200 francs. One Directrice-Generale, 2,800 francs; six Directrices, 7,950 francs; six doctors, 3,100 francs; berceuses and femme de services, 32,850 francs; one chauffeur, 500 francs; other expenses, including food, washing, upkeep of furniture and building, 42,000 francs.

This does not include the initial expense of linen or clothes worn by the children during their stay at the crèche. Every two or three years the Commune votes 3,000 or 4,000 francs for this purpose.

The building of the Communal crèche, holding 100 children, cost 139,895 francs, the site 55,000 francs, and the warming apparatus 25,000 francs.



The first official recognition of these schools in Belgium dates from 1833, when certain rules were laid down fixing the age of admission for children between two and six, and regulating their instruction. The movement grew rapidly throughout the country. By the year 1881 there were 708 Ecoles-Gardiennes, containing 56,408 children. By 1900 the number had increased to 2,310 schools, containing 218,702 children. In 1905 there were 2,771 schools, containing 258,149 children. (In Appendix 14 will be found a table giving the distribution of these schools throughout Belgium, and in Appendix 16 figures giving their total cost.) The Annuaire Statistique of Belgium for 1901 gives the number of children between three and six as 446,134; so that, allowing for growth of population, it may be

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stated roughly that Belgium has school accommodation for one-half of her children between three and six years old.

These Ecoles-Gardiennes, while receiving grants from the State and being under State inspection, are to a large extent built and managed by the Communes. They are classified under three different heads: Communal Schools; Schools adopted by the Communes; and Private Schools, not adopted by Communes (but which fulfil the necessary conditions for adoption), receiving State grants. In order to receive these grants these Ecoles-Gardiennes must be open to Government inspection, keep a capable teaching staff, receive children of the poor between the ages of three and six free, have suitable accommodation and furniture, and in Communes under 1,000 inhabitants have a regular attendance of 20 children. For schools complying with these regulations the State grant is given according to the following rates. In Communes under 1,000 inhabitants they receive 10 francs for each child. Ecoles-Gardiennes containing twenty to twenty-five children receive 250 francs for one class and 225 francs for each additional class. Those with thirty-six to fifty-three children receive 300 francs for one class, and 215 francs for each additional class. Those with over 51 children receive 350 francs for one class and 325 francs for every additional class. To bring these up to some standard of efficiency a new code of rules was issued in 1890 by the Minister of Public Instruction "to aid the Communes in their task of organising the Ecoles-Gardiennes". It forms the basis to-day for the organisation of all the schools in the country, though a large number of Communes have issued their own rules and regulations.

As the whole modern scheme of the Ecoles-Gardiennes is given later, it is only necessary briefly to sketch the Ministerial propaganda of 1890. The Ecole-Gardienne admits children from three to six. It seeks to prepare them for the future by bestowing on them that care which is required for their physical, mental, and moral development. It strives, above all, to enable them to acquire habits of cleanliness, order, politeness, and obedience; to encourage spontaneity; to inspire them with a love of right and hatred of evil. In a word, to surround them with all those good influences which should be included in an intelligent mother's training. The child is not called to the Ecole-Gardienne to remain impassive during the long hours, to sit still during lessons, to listen mechanically to remonstrances and exhortations. It must move about; it must work, not only its limbs, but its faculties. This is activity. The Ecole-Gardienne must not aim merely at imitation or unconscious reproduction of all that is done; it must be creative. That which it teaches must not arise from an ignorant appropriation of the knowledge of others, of a laborious assimilation of things or words monotonously repeated; it should be an acquisition resulting from the observations, investigations, and little practical experiences. This is spontaneous activity. Games, pursuits, and work should not be

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the fulfilment of a sharp command, of an imperious order, of an invitation admitting no reply. They should be, as much as possible, the thing which is wanted, demanded, desired. This is free activity. But, as this child-life has need of outward influence to aid its growth, it is for the teacher of the Ecole-Gardienne to supply this by directing this spontaneous and free activity. She will accomplish nothing if she carries out her methods mechanically, and follows a monotonous routine both in work and play. She must be full of the spirit of the system of infant training, so that she may vary the means at her disposal, and so awaken the child's mind by opening it to all wholesome impressions and fine feelings. To awaken with moderation and direct wisely the activity of the pupil, leaving it spontaneity and liberty, such is the high ideal of the true teacher of Ecoles-Gardiennes. The programme should include: bodily exercises and gymnastic games; training in thoughtfulness, speech and learning by heart, in order to awake the spirit of research and observation, to give birth to simple ideas on the subject of Nature and life and the first notions of duty, in order gradually to enable the child to express itself with ease and clearness. The training will include singing learnt by ear, and manual occupations. The Communal Council can add reading, writing, and arithmetic for the older children if they wish. No single lesson must last over half an hour; there must be constant variety, that children may be occupied without constraint or fatigue. The Communal Council will decide about religious instruction, whether it be Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish. There will be special inspection for religious instruction. (There is no religious instruction, only "moral teaching", in the Communal schools).

The Directrice of the school will keep registers with the names of the children, attendance, administrative correspondence, inventories of furniture, etc. She must see that the building is kept clean and well ventilated, and that the temperature is kept at 14 to 16 deg. Cent. in cold weather. The teaching materials must include: Pictures, collections of Froebel gifts, slates, coloured paper, etc. The Directrice must arrange everything tastefully, to inspire love of the beautiful in her pupils.

With regard to the games for developing the children's physical strength, they should be played out of doors whenever weather permits. They should consist of various movements of fingers, hands, arms, legs, and head; marching, jumping, and running; games to imitate labour and trade; all inspired, encouraged, and watched by the teacher.

Training of thoughtfulness, pronunciation, etc. This must come into every lesson and game throughout the day. Sometimes by means of special little stories about the family, food, clothes, houses; on domestic animals, birds, fishes, insects; on the vegetables in the garden, trees of the orchard, the flowers of the fields: on grains; talks about the seasons, etc. To-day it may be a story of courage; to-morrow a piece of poetry, new and full of feeling. Always it will be impressive words, as from a

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mother who feels and loves, who slips some helpful thought into the mind, or right feeling into the heart, at the same time helping the child to express and translate its own impressions, and the result of its observations.

There is a long account of the Froebel system in the code issued by the State. To oblige most of the parents, the teacher of the Ecole-Gardienne has often to teach reading and writing to her most advanced children. Half an hour a day should be enough for them. In arithmetic they will have learnt the first ten numbers by means of little sticks, cubes, etc. These can be taken up to 20; but it will be well to resist the temptation of taking the children on too far, and so losing the character of the Ecole-Gardienne.

At the time of this circular the schools were entirely known as Ecoles-Gardiennes. They are now often called "Jardins d'Enfants". There is no practical working difference between the two, although the latter have been described as "Les Ecoles-Gardiennes perfectionées."


A special examination for teachers of these schools was instituted in 1898, and holds good to-day (see Appendix 18). In this year the Minister of Public Instruction issued the following circular:

"I have much pleasure in sending you the new rules for the examination of teachers of Ecoles-Gardiennes, instituted by Royal decree, June 17th, 1898. This examination will take place tin September, 1899, for the first time. It will include a preliminary test, followed by a Froebelian course at the Training College, and a final test of an essentially practical nature. Those only will be admitted to the Froebelian course and to the final test who have succeeded in the preliminary. The final test will be exclusively on educational methods. The training course will last three weeks; it will chiefly deal with the theory of education and its application to Froebel methods. At the time of their entrance and the examination the candidates must state whether they wish to be questioned on religion and morale, or on morale only. In the first case they must submit to an examination conducted by an examiner chosen by the head of that denomination to which they may belong, and their certificate will state that this examination has been satisfactory. The candidates taking only morale will be questioned by the Committee."
The following are the rules concerning examinations for certificats de capacité to be passed by all candidates wishing to teach in Belgian Ecoles-Gardiennes, whether Communal or otherwise, as issued by the Minister of Public Instruction. They strike one as being somewhat extensive for the teachers of children under six years old:
"All candidates must be seventeen, and healthy. Two Committees will undertake the preliminary tests - one dealing with those candidates who speak Flemish or German, the other with

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those who wish to be examined in French. Each Committee is composed of an honorary Inspector of Primary Education, who fulfils the duties of President, and of three members chosen from the staff of the Communal Froebelian Training Colleges. The preliminary examination deals chiefly with la langue maternelle."
The general idea underlying the programme is this - that the certificat de capacité should supply a guarantee that she who possesses it possesses also a general education as broad and substantial as that possessed by candidates for primary schools; knowledge, both clear and precise, of moral precepts and "savoir-faire" included in the programme of 1885 for training schools; some knowledge of general hygiene and school hygiene; knowledge derived from principles and rules of general educational methods, which may serve as a basis and guide for infant education; and, finally, some practical skill in the teaching of exercises and games, as set forth in the programme of Jardins d'Enfants, August, 1890 (see Appendix 20).


Brussels has fourteen Jardins d'Enfants, free, and not compulsory, containing 3,324 children, while there are twenty-five Ecoles-Gardiennes distributed among the ten suburbs. These are all free, and receive grants from State and Commune. In addition to these, there are thirty-five Ecoles-Gardiennes in the town and suburbs in private hands, either adopted or subsidised by the Commune, and twenty private paying schools, receiving no grant; so that in all there are in Brussels nearly 100 schools for children between three and six. Their object and organisation was thus set forth by the Commune of Brussels in 1902:

"It is of supreme importance for a town which includes a considerable population of the working classes to have a thorough organisation of Jardins d'Enfants. The Jardin d'Enfants is the foundation of the primary school; without it popular education lacks a basis, and is defective from the beginning. When the primary school is not preceded by the Jardin d"Enfants, it receives only too often a crowd of weakly children, stunted, coarse, brought up in dirty basements, and already corrupted by wandering about the streets.

The Jardin d'Enfants should supplement both materially and intellectually the inadequacy of those parents who are incapable of watching over the early development, both moral and physical, of their young children. It should help large families, and this help would be much more efficacious than the slender allowances granted by the Charity Bureau. But, so that the Jardin d'Enfants should successfully fulfil its calling, it must be organised according to the Froebel method; that is to say, it ought to be in a place where intelligence, moral sense, and physical powers can be cultivated rationally, and where a close observation of each child is possible. The Jardin d'Enfants has, therefore, to fulfil part of a mother's duty. It is not a school in the

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ordinary sense of the word; it is not for the purpose of teaching but of developing the intelligence of children by calling out their creative faculties and giving them impressions that they could not receive in the sordid and barren neighbourhoods from which they come. By a graduated series of games, exercises, occupations, of talks, both moral and instructive, the children are led to notice, to understand rightly, to acquire correct ideas, to interest themselves in their surroundings; they are led to observe, to express themselves clearly, and to develop their inventive and creative faculties; so that it is possible to show them the necessity for order and cleanliness, and to give them a taste for work and love of right, the triple basis of all æsthetic and moral education. The occupations in the Jardin d'Enfants should not be chosen for their value as acquirements, but rather for the means they offer of leading children to observe, to think, and to express their ideas. Children must be drawn out of the intellectual stupor produced by ignorance. Any excitement produced by artificial means must be carefully avoided; it is not by tickling a child one should produce laughter. Joy, like curiosity, should be the result of natural expansion or the whole being, happiness in living and interest in the novelty of outside things.

The 'Jardinière' should try to overcome the natural egoism of the child by giving it opportunities of being kind and good-natured to its companions; at the same time she will be able to transform the rude ways that it brings from the streets to pleasant and courteous manners. The site should he chosen with a view to the children spending the greater part of the day out of doors during the fine weather, for the most important point of all is to keep the children in vigorous health, so that they may be able to resist the unwholesome influences to which they are too often exposed in home life. To ensure this, scrupulous cleanliness is essential, and parents must be sternly ordered to change the children's linen at least twice a week.

In order that the Jardin d'Enfants should supply the primary school with well-prepared children the Jardinères should be thoroughly permeated with the spirit of the Froebel methods, so as not to make a confused compromise between the Jardin d'Enfants and the school proper. An intelligent application of this method implies a certain amount of culture: it is not, therefore, too much to ask of the Jardinière that she shall possess the diploma of the primary teacher and that she shall have successfully followed a course of training in Froebel methods.

The Jardins should not admit too large a number of children, they will be better scattered about the town, so that the children should not have too far to go. The regulations of the Jardins d'Enfants should be very humane, but not enervating; the children must be taught to rely on themselves, to bear with little inconveniences caused by their own folly or awkwardness; to manage for themselves. In all these things they should be led with a gentle but firm hand. The pupils of the upper division should work as much as possible for those in the lower classes,

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so as to acquire the feeling of sympathy and brotherhood that should unite all mankind. They will thus feel the satisfaction of being useful, which all children love; they will taste the joy of work and of devoting themselves to those who are weaker than themselves, a feeling which is at the root of the great law of love and charity, to which we attribute the superiority of modern society to that of ancient times. With the system of small schools, it will no longer be necessary to place a Directrice at the head of each Jardin; the principal Jardinière will act as Jardinière-en-Chef; she will supervise the whole establishment, maintain discipline among the teaching staff, and arrange the time-table.

The educational functions will be undertaken by an Inspectrice; she will be responsible for the occupations, for the observation and strict application of the Froebel system. It is unnecessary to add that discipline, cleanliness, and the upkeep of material do not come under her control.

At intervals decided by the Echevin, the Inspectrice will summon the teaching staff to a conference, when model 'causeries' will be given, and types of exercises performed suitable for the Jardins d'Enfants.

We hope in this way to keep up a constant spirit of progress among our Jardinières, and to prevent thorn from falling into a mechanical routine of instruction. We shall institute a School Committee for each Jardin. For these we hope to count upon the help of the ladies of Brussels. How can they better employ their time and natural charity than by watching over the education of those poor children? How often will it be in their power to give useful advice to the mothers, and soften the sufferings of ignorance! They should be our fellow-workers in the great scheme of civilisation that we are following; it is above all they who can become links between the rich and the poor, between the ignorant and the educated classes. Our country, happily, knows nothing of those caste hatreds which so cruelly separate the rich and poor of other lands. May all those women favoured by fortune realise that we depend on their charity and devotion to the interests of the people to maintain this happy condition of things."

Such is the introduction to each copy of rules and regulations for use in the Communal Jardins d'Enfants in Brussels. Before giving the regulations of these schools, it will be well to give the general moral principles which are printed for every teacher giving lessons in Brussels/


The teacher will gain inspiration for the moral training of her pupils from the following general principles. She must grasp every opportunity and create occasions for drawing the child's attention to the following points in a forcible way, by simple reasoning on homely incidents and familiar deeds:

I. Duty Towards Oneself. Duty of self-preservation. Hygiene. Cleanliness. Temperance. Happiness produced by

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work. Order, economy. Moderation in dress. Saving, moral advantages of saving. Duty of self-instruction and improvement. Power of "self-help". Prudence. Respect of truth. Reverence for the given word. Courage. Personal dignity. Honour.

II. Duty Towards the Family. Family happiness. Economy as a means of procuring funds necessary to start a home. Mutual help. Foresight. Duty of children towards their parents. Filial love; respect; obedience; help; blameworthy behaviour of children who refuse to help their parents. Mutual interdependence of the family. Harmony between masters and servants, between employers and workers.

III. Duty Towards Mankind.

(a) Duties of Justice. They are included in this fundamental maxim: "Do not unto others what you would not they should do unto you". Respect for the life of others. Condemnation of murder. Respect for the liberty of others. Respect for property, monuments, and public gardens. Binding character of promises and contracts. Theft and fraud. Duty of restoring things wrongly acquired, and of repairing the wrong done to another. Respect for the honour and reputation of others. Calumny, defamation, and slander. Respect for opinions and beliefs. Liberty of conscience; tolerance.

(b) Duties of Charity. The duties of charity are summed up in this maxim: "Love thy neighbour as thyself, and do unto others as you would they should do unto you". The duties of charity are binding on each of us according to the measure of our possessions. Well-doing. Begging. Help to poor children (education, work). Devotion and sacrifice. Kindness to animals.

IV. Rights and Civic Duties. Love of country. The nation is a large family. Defence of native land. Reverence for national flag. Respect for the constitution. Obedience to laws; respect due to public authorities. Love of country does not exclude sympathy with other peoples, nor love of Humanity.


The Time Table and educational instructions are arranged by the College of Burgomaster and Aldermen in conformity with the general rules of August 16th, 1879, and the provisions of September 15th, 1880. (See Appendix 20.)

Conditions of Admission. Parents who wish to send children to a Jardin d'Enfants must produce a declaration from the police sanitaire; another stating the age of the child; its home and the profession of its parents, and a doctor's certificate, stating that the child has been vaccinated. Attendance is free for an children living in the Commune from three to six years old, whose parents desire it. Children before coming to school must be washed and their hair brushed and combed, they must each have a clean handkerchief, and besides this every Monday and Thursday they must put on clean linen. Children remaining to dinner at school must bring a basket with their food and a mug.

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Hours of Opening. The Jardins d'Enfants are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. All children must be present at 8.45, when the classes begin. Those who remain to dinner are placed under the care of a teacher appointed for the purpose. No child may be dismissed without leave of the College (Burgomaster and Echevins).

Holidays. The holidays are: Sunday, Thursday afternoons, November 1st and 15th, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Holy Thursday (afternoon), July 21st, September 23rd. The longer vacations are arranged as follows: From December 25th to January 2nd inclusive; from the Thursday before Easter to the second Monday after Easter inclusive; from August 1st to September 15th. (In practice the summer holidays in these schools vary somewhat.) Classes de vacances are held in a few schools.

Staff. The Jardinière-en-Chef is responsible for the general supervision of the Jardin. She must see that strict order and perfect cleanliness prevail throughout the whole establishment. She must give lessons each day in different divisions of the Jardin. She must keep the following registers: one containing, in chronological order, all the communications addressed to her by the College; a register in which she enters the Christian and surnames of the children, the date and place of birth, the name of the medical officer who has signed the certificate of vaccination; the name and occupation of parent or guardian; the homes of these last; and special observations. Also a register of attendance in which the Jardinières sign their names every day on their arrival at the school. This register is checked by the Jardinière-en-Chef as soon as the admission bell sounds. She must also keep an inventory of school properties and a book of orders. During the first three days of every quarter the Jardinière-en-Chef sends a report on the condition of her school in the preceding quarter to the Bureau of Public Instruction, stating the number of vacancies and any absences or irregularities of her staff. On July 1st each year she must send a report to the Inspectrice on her management, on the attendance of her pupils together with the statement of any interesting facts. Also on July 1st she should inform the Communal Administration of any repairs or alterations that ought to he done during the holidays. She must not be absent without leave from the College (Burgomaster and Echevins). She ought to arrive the first and leave the last in the school she rules. The Jardinière-en-Chef can, in case of emergency, grant a day's leave to a member of the staff, but she must at once notify the same to the Bureau of Public Instruction. She receives from 2,000 francs to 3,500 francs a year. On retiring she gets a pension consisting of three-fifths of her salary calculated on the last three years of her service. Jardinières (1st class) receive 1,700 to 2,000 francs. Jardinières of the 2nd class receive 1,300 to 1,600 francs. Assistants receive 1,000 francs to 1,200 francs. Supply teachers receive 1,000 francs.

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Except in special cases the salaries rise 100 francs every two years for those receiving from 1,000 to 1,600 francs. The post of Jardinière of the 1st class may be obtained, under favourable circumstances, after 15 years of service. The rise of salaries from 1,700 to 2,000 francs is 100 francs every three years. In the 14 Communal Jardins d'Enfants in Brussels there are 14 Jardinières-en-Chef, 35 Jardinières of the 1st class, 44 Jardinières of the 2nd class, and 16 Assistant-Jardinières, altogether, with the Inspectrice, 110 teachers. The 14 schools when full hold 3,400 children, thus giving the proportion roughly as one teacher to 30 children. But, in these special schools, instead of rigidly adhering to one teacher in each room, there is some interchanging. For instance, for building or plaiting, folding or drawing, several teachers will be drafted into one room, leaving a large number of children to do free games outside under one teacher. Thus perhaps for a quarter of an hour there will be four teachers in one room to 40 children, in order to give individual attention.

The teaching staff is required to be at the school 15 minutes before the classes begin. One of the teachers is specially selected to take care of the children who come at 8 o'clock in the morning. Teachers are strictly forbidden to receive any presents from parents, to be absent without leave from the College, or to do any other work beside the school work. They are each required to take the temperature of their rooms, and notify the same on a card printed for the purpose. From 16° to 18° Cent. is the rule. Every week the card, signed by the Jardinière-en-Chef, is sent to the Bureau of Hygiene.

Besides the teaching staff there is a femme de service attached to each school. She takes her orders entirely from the Jardinière-en-Chef, to whom she owes respect and obedience. She is responsible for the children's physical requirements, for the cleanliness of the children and the school, and she must assist in any accidental emergency that may arise. Before and after class hours she must open the windows to air the rooms, and close them carefully. She must light the fires an hour before the arrival of the children, and keep them up.

The salaries of the whole staff working in the 14 Communal Jardins d'Enfants in Brussels amount to 195,800 francs. This is paid by the Communal Administration of Brussels. The sum is exclusive of concierges, supply, and unattached teachers. The Budget estimate for 1908 for these salaries amounts to 263,300 francs for the Jardins d'Enfants (14); for the salaries of teachers engaged in elementary education the estimate for 1908 is 1,522,450 francs (21 schools, 13,812 scholars, 546 teachers).

Care of Children by Staff. Every day before the classes begin the Jardinières ask to see pocket-handkerchiefs; they must see that the children's stockings are well drawn up, their shoes tied and cleaned. They specially see that the children are clean; that the boys' hair is closely cut, and the girls' carefully brushed. If they find the children dirty, they may have them washed by the femmes de service. The nice appearance of the children must

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be closely attended to. A quarter of an hour before going home the Jardinières review the children, to see that they are perfectly clean and in good order. If, after constant warnings from the Jardinière-en-Chef, the parents persist in keeping their child dirty and disorderly, the Jardinière-en-Chef may ask the College to send a formal warning to the parents. If this remains unheeded, the College then dismisses the child from the school. Every day during the winter soup is given to the children whose parents ask for it. (See below.) It is strictly forbidden to strike any child; the children must be always gently reprimanded.

School Committees. Each Jardin d'Enfant (Communal) in Brussels has its special School Committee. These Committees are a help to the Communal Administration, and should greatly assist in making known to the parents the benefits of instruction. Their chief duties are: to follow the lessons and to signify to the Communal Administration anything that concerns the execution of the Code, any improvements in the curriculum, and the position of the Jardinière. They must find out children who do not come to school, use their influence with parents to send their children regularly, and communicate with Charitable Committees with this end in view; they must see that the care and discipline of the school is continued as much as possible at home. Members of this Committee are chosen wherever practicable from people living in the neighbourhood of the school.

The Echevin de l'Instruction Publique is an ex-officio member of every school Committee, but the Presidency is always left to one of the lady members; he may always delegate Mme. l'Inspectrice des Jardins d'Enfants to replace him on the Committee. In cases of difficulty, the voice of the President is supreme; but mention must be made of this in the minutes. The Committee elect their secretary annually. The College has entire control over these School Committees. Each of these Committees is composed of a lady president and four to six ladies, and there are 14 such Committees in Brussels. The annual report or the Communal Council for 1907 gives this tribute to their work:

"The ladies of the School Committees continue to surround the Jardins d'Enfants with their enlightened as well as generous care. We owe them our most hearty gratitude. Mmes. S. Speyer and Hanman, who have been members of School Committees for 25 years, have just been decorated with a civic medal of the First Class."

Clothing. Out of the 3,323 children between three and six attending the 14 Jardins d'Enfants in Brussels, no less than 2,628 received substantial gifts of clothing during the year 1906-7. These were made and contributed by various societies, including the School Committees (who contributed 233 complete outfits and 5,449 various garments), Philanthropic Societies - "Le Denier des Jardins d'Enfants", "La Violette", "La Gazette" - and by various philanthropic ladies. Besides this the pupils and staff of the Training College

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of Teachers and some High School girls also gave presents of clothing made by themselves to the children or the Jardins d'Enfants. One of these schools visited by me, containing 200 children, had received during the past year 161 complete outfits and 1,039 garments, entirely from private charities. No grants are given for clothing from State, Province, or Commune to the Jardins d'Enfants. (See Appendix 19.)

Toys and other Gifts. Besides these clothes the children of these 14 schools received in money 451 francs, and vast quantities of bon-bons and fruits. A few children under six were sent for country holidays, but the rule in all the holiday societies precludes children under six.

Feeding. A large number of children are fed daily in these schools. Some are given soup all the year round, most only have it from November to May. Some pay 1d., others have it free. A free list is printed up in each class-room, from which names are crossed out as the parents become able to contribute. There are no statistics to show the proportion of children staying to dinner, but I visited several schools at dinner-time, and found about 50-60 children out of about 250 having soup at 11.30. The soup was mostly cooked by the concierge in a large vessel on the gas stove; it was made by boiling together potatoes, tapioca, vegetables, and beef for two hours, and it cost about 4 francs for over 100 children.

Though it was not by any means the general rule, in a great many cases the scholars of the Cours Menagère served the children's dinners in the Jardins d'Enfants. The children sat at long tables in their class-rooms, a cloth was laid, mugs and spoons were placed for them, and four or six girls carried in the hot soup and ladled it out to the children. The Directrice was always present, but the Institutrice of the Cours Menagère superintended the meal. In cases where meat and potatoes were served afterwards the girls of the Cours Menagère had to cut it up for the children. The soup is given by private societies, with a grant from the Commune in most cases. The statistics do not separate the schools, but the grant given last year to "l'Œuvre de la Soupe Scolaire " was 10,000 francs for the Communal Schools. Various societies give money towards feeding the children, especially during the winter months. It may be mentioned that in a great many class-rooms water is kept for the children to drink at any time.

A gracious acknowledgment of all the gifts and contributions to the Jardins d'Enfants is made in the annual report by the "Conseil Communal", ending, "We thank most heartily all contributors for the joy and benefits they have brought into our Ecoles-Gardiennes."

Communal Inspection. One Inspectrice, at a salary of 4,800 francs, paid by the Commune of Brussels, superintends the education of the Jardins d'Enfants in conformity with the Code and the instructions of the College. She sees that the programme arranged by the Communal Administration is carried out, she directs the applica-

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tion in strict conformity with the Froebel method, as it has been decided by the College. Her inspection covers the whole material part of the establishment. At regular intervals the Inspectrice calls her teachers together in a Conference appointed by the Echevin de l'Instruction Publique (the Town Councillor specially charged with the oversight of primary education). These Conferences practically take place twice a year, and there are usually over 100 teachers present. To encourage originality and initiative in her teaching staff Mme. Destrée, Inspectrice des Jardins d'Enfants, in the course of these conferences calls on teachers individually to explain any new game they may have invented for their children, to illustrate any story they may have told, to show any new designs evolved boy themselves or their pupils, to go through any new action song that has been specially successful. If the new experiment appears sufficiently meritorious it is adopted by the others.

The Inspectrice arranges a Time Table for each class in conformity with the general provisions of the rules of 1879. Jardinières-en-Chefs of Jardins d'Enfants are under the Inspectrice, and must follow as closely as possible every instruction given by her. She makes an annual report to the Echevin de l'Instruction Publique on the progress of the children and the teaching staff. Madame Destrée lectures on Froebel teaching at the Training College to those who are training for Jardins d'Enfants. The relations between Madame Destrée and her teachers are most harmonious; she visits every school at least once a fortnight unexpectedly. She has a small office at one of the schools in Brussels, and is always to be found there on Mondays for consultation in cases of difficulty. Letters can be addressed there. And it may be interesting to note that she has been writing a book on the subject of infant education for the past two years, which she hopes to finish next year. She is making many interesting experiments on the subject of reading for young children, and has come to the conclusion that it is better for the child not to begin to read at all till it is six and passes into the Primary school. Madame Kergomard, Inspectrice-Generale des Eccles-Maternelles, Paris, who has recently talked over the subject with Madame Destrée thinks five years old the right age to begin. Considerable development has evidently taken place in these schools under the guidance of Madame Destrée; several countries have sent delegates to learn her methods, and to study the organisation of these Jardins d'Enfants. One of these visitors wrote to Mme. l'Inspectrice afterwards: "I often think of the bright and fresh garden that I visited with you. In my whole long career I have never been so impressed with the absence of artificiality as I have been in your schools. These children, who cry out 'Bonjour' to you, who call you to see what they have made, who seem so truly pleased to see you, remind me of my nephews and nieces when they were small welcoming me into their playroom. This is indeed a philanthropic work, and, better still, you can create and multiply similar places."

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The annual report of the Conseil Communal pays a high tribute to the devoted work of Mme. I'Inspectrice.

State Inspection. All Ecoles-Gardiennes in receipt of Government grant are under State Inspection. There are head Inspectors and district Inspectors, who inspect all three classes of schools, Communal, Adopted and Private (adoptable). Conferences are held once a year.

Medical Inspection. This has only been organised for the Communal schools in Brussels since February, 1906, when a small pamphlet was issued setting forth the system of inspection by doctors. The rules came into force on April 1st, 1906. Seven doctors were appointed by the College (Communal Administration, 6th Division), one being called the Principal Doctor. Each of these was given a division and made responsible for from six to eight schools. These included the 14 Jardins d'Enfants, 21 Primary schools, four Crèches, two Secondary schools, four professional, two Cours Menagères, one orphanage, and two Cours d'éducation. A list of schools and the name of the Doctor attending, with his address, was printed and circulated among the 50 establishments to be medically inspected. Two visits a month were required in each of the Primary schools, Jardins d'Enfants and Crèches. These visits were to bear on the hygienic conditions of different parts of the schools (class rooms, halls, gymnasiums, lavatories, etc). Reports were to be made on the state of cleanliness and healthy condition of the children generally. Heads of schools and crèches were asked to point out to the doctors at each visit children with defective sight, special affection of the eyes, nose or ears, suspected adenoids (see Appendix 22) and those who could not follow their lessons with satisfactory results. In addition to such specially selected cases, the doctor was required to examine the children of one or two classes, so that, at the end of the school year, each child should have been individually examined. The physical and mental condition of the child should be examined, and any symptoms requiring immediate attention noted. In this latter case, the Directrice must summon the parents and repeat at once the doctor's orders, so that the child may be taken to a hospital or receive further advice at once. In no case shall the doctor visiting the school undertake the treatment.

The authorities urge both doctor and Directrice, as well as other members of the staff, to exercise a maternal foresight, so that the parents may be warned in time, and the child saved from developing a disease which care and immediate attention might prevent. If the doctors' warnings are neglected by parents, steps will be taken to ensure attention. Various cards, sheets and registers have to be filled up by the doctors; one regarding the sanitary condition of the school, lighting, warming, etc., with an order for the child to have medicine given at the school if necessary. (Originally, cod-liver oil was given to sickly children, but in November, 1906, during winter, emulsion of hypophosphites was substituted.) The

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card to be filled up by the doctor on the mental and physical condition of the child (see Appendix 17) requires some explanation. It was only issued May, 1907, accompanied by the following elaborate explanatory circular: "The teacher's mission is to look after the general culture of new pupils. It is as much her duty to watch over their physical education as over their mental and moral training. Elaborating this thought, Féré has said: 'It is not the brain alone which is developing but the whole organism becomes active.' The physical condition of a child influences considerably its capacity for work. Often enough when we find a child idle or uncontrolled, stupid or wild, it may mean we have a little sick child to tend. Such a child is often naughty when nervous trouble prevents it from learning or behaving as well as its companions. It is most important for the Directrice to realise fully the physical condition of her pupils at the end of the school year. With this knowledge it will be much easier to adapt their lessons to their temperament, their character and disposition. There will be less risk of falling into the mistake of burdening them with tasks injurious to their particular constitution. The health card which we now present to the school is intended to draw their attention to many interesting points; their height, their weight, revaccination, previous acute illnesses; the state of their eyes, ears, mouth, heart, lungs, nervous system, according to the statements made by the school doctor. From all these statements together she will be able to decide whether the child should be given preventive medicines, if it should have soup at school, how much gymnastic work it is fit for, and if it ought to be sent into the country (colonie scolaire). The entries on the health card are entirely left to the devoted and intelligent efforts of the school doctor and the Directrice. Measurements can be taken by the Directrice. Children should be measured with bare feet and weighed with a minimum of clothing, preferably in the morning. The curves of growth and of weight are traced in red on the card, according to the average adopted by Quetelet. The height and weight of the child should be marked by the Directrice by means of a black line in the column arranged for this. It will be easy in this way to discover whether the height and weight of the child are above or below the average of Quetelet. Any check in the development of height or weight often means a morbid condition and particular need of careful watching. It warns us nearly always that there is need of extra feeding and sending into the open air. The health card will be kept by the Directrice. It will follow the child through every class through which it passes. It will often be consulted by the Directrice, so that she can tactfully suggest measures to the parents by which they can build up the health of their child. The health card must always preserve its confidential character, while the report only makes mention of such facts that can be known to everyone, without annoyance to the child or its relations. It will be, for all the teachers, a certain guide to knowing which children to select specially for

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the doctor; their task will be greatly facilitated. These cards have been put in force for the children of the Primary schools of the 1st year from September 15th, 1907. In the Jardins d'Enfants there must be a health card for every child."

As some confusion still prevailed about measuring and weighing the children, yet another circular appeared on October 7th, 1907: "For measuring, it is sufficient to take off the child's boots; for weighing, the clothes need not all be taken off, but note made of those that are kept on. In those schools possessing bains-douches, the children can be weighed when they come out of the bath. The question of medical examination must he left to the discretion of the doctor. It must take place before the Directrice, in a well-warmed room, and not in the presence of other children. If the nature of the examination should render it necessary to undress the child completely, the Directrice can postpone the examination, if she thinks it wiser, till she has the parents' leave". A few medicines are kept by the concierge, who administers them to the children when they arrive in the mornings, according to doctors' orders. These medicines are supplied free by the Commune.

Infection. With regard to infection, there are very stringent rules. The whole teaching staff are furnished with pamphlets describing all the common infectious complaints of childhood, with their early symptoms. (See Appendix 23.) Dentists have visited the elementary schools for the past 25 years, each school being inspected twice a year, but there is little to do in the Jardins d'Enfants, so the statistics heed not be given here. Hygiene is carefully taught to the girls of the Elementary schools at the Cours Menagère.


The children in these schools are divided somewhat strictly into three divisions; children aged from three to four, four to five, and five to six. In the 14 schools there are 1,075 children in the 1st division, 981 in the second, and 1,267 in the 3rd. The teaching is entirely according to Froebel. But, it is hardly necessary to add, there are many ways of applying Froebel, and the methods used in these schools are free and intelligent. The result is that the children are bright, happy and natural; they are forthcoming and friendly, extremely conversational, and talk a pure language, with clear enunciation. Every child is clean, its hair well brushed, and boys and girls all wear pinafores; the children appeared vigorous and healthy, and seemed thoroughly at ease in their surroundings. They laughed heartily at some of their "Causerie" lessons, and were never checked. Mme. Kergomard's words: "A child ought to laugh as a bird ought to sing", have unconsciously become true for these schools. A great deal has depended on the teachers, and Mme. Destrée's influence here is apparent, and warmly acknowledged by those she has helped and is helping daily by wise criticism, encouragement, and suggestion. Never-

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theless the entire materialism of the whole curriculum strikes one somewhat grievously. The commercial tendency of all education in Brussels is pronounced even in the baby schools of the Commune.

Shortly summed up, their occupations are as follows. A more lengthy and detailed time-table will be found in Appendix 20.


Such is the crude outline of the Froebelian system as used throughout Belgium. Before detailing the scheme it will be well to show how this precedes the general plan of education in that country. The concentric character of education in Belgium appears from the very beginning, i.e., at the Jardins d'Enfants. There is no question here of education, but of an harmonious whole of exercises calculated to cultivate the physical, intellectual, and moral faculties of little children from the age of three, so that, on reaching the school age of six, they may be able profitably to follow the lessons of the elementary school. Each exercise has a special object which appears in each of the three divisions - the first, inculcation; the second and third, strengthening and extending in proportion to the development of the child's faculties. A notion, taught in its simplest form in the first and second years of study, reappears

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in the third year with an increasing wealth of connected ideas. The professional tendency appears at the very beginning. Construction with little sticks and cubes, exercises of folding, plaiting, and modelling give the children manual dexterity, exact notion of size, combinations and special shapes, all of which they will find again in the Primary school, where the education is strongly characterised by this professional tendency.

Again, from the time-table in Appendix 20, it will be readily seen that a direct relationship is established between observation and elocution exercises on the one hand and manual occupation on the other. From this succession of exercises it naturally follows that for the child notion is associated with its expression by means of words, always strengthened by adequate manual occupation requiring application of mind and action of the senses. The motto of the Belgians is "Schools for Life".


Monday, January 4th

9 to 9.45. Construction. Children have had 18 lessons on third and fourth gifts. (N.B.-Third gift is a box containing a 2-inch cube equally divided into eight cubes, 1 cubic inch each. Fourth gift, box containing a cube divided into eight solid oblongs, 2 inches long, 1 inch broad, ½ inch thick.) Third and fourth gifts together for first time. Show children how to make artistic shape with cubes and oblongs; afterwards encourage them to make their own choice of combinations quite alone. Illustrate.

9.45 to 10.15. Game. Throwing balls into a basket placed in the middle of the circle.

10.15 to 10.45. Interlacing. Band of paper folded into three, squares interlaced at corners, leads to formation of star. (Children have had 12 lessons on interlacing.)

10.45 to 11. Gymnastics. Bending and extension of arms in front.

11 to 11.30. Little Talk. On second gift. General appearance of gift, it includes three substances, or which two are known. Do not give name of cylinder yet. The sphere resembles ball in shape, it has a round surface. Find round object in class-room, and then from ordinary life.

11.30 to 12. Games. Skipping rope, to jump three times and run away.

2 to 2.45. Weaving in paper. 2 and 2, 1 and 1, 2 and 1. Inventions and combinations.

2.45 to 3.15. Free recreation.

3.15 to 3.45. Counters and Sticks. Union of coloured counters and sticks to construct an artistic shape with eight counters, four red and four blue, and eight sticks.

3.45 to 4. Games. Balls or toys.

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Tuesday, January 5th

9 to 9.45. Tablets. Blue and red. Two children work together. Each partner can place two tablets of his own choice to help in the process of making an artistic shape out of four tablets. (Children have had 12 lessons.)

9.45 to 10.15. Game. "The Little Shoemaker " (action song).

10.15 to 10.45. Design. An ornamental design with sticks of two lengths.

10.45 to 11. Gymnastics. Throwing balls into a box.

11 to 11.30. 1st Gift. (A set of six worsted balls, primary and secondary colours with strings and crossbeam, Froebel's first gift for babies.) Balls of two colours; violet is made from blue and red. Exercise, turning a disc formed by sections or blue and red.

1l.30 to 12. Games. Throwing balls against the wall.

2 to 2.45. Beads. Chains with two strings, bead baskets, etc., for the older children.

2.45 to 3.15. Free recreation.

3.15 to 3.45. Little Sticks, the number 7 (children have had eleven lessons taking the numbers 1 to 7). Sticks arranged by children in patterns of 7.

3.45 to 4. Games.

Wednesday, January 6th

9 to 9.45. Construction. Two working together, common forms. Children will build a bridge under which trains - some passenger, some goods - will pass.

9.45 to 10.15. Game. Children jumping two together to music.

10.15 to 10.45. Laths. Three laths placed horizontally on three others placed vertically and interlaced. The ornament thus obtained lends itself to various modifications, which may he left to the initiative of the child.

10.45 to 11. Gymnastics. To cultivate sound.

11 to 11.30. 2nd Gift. (Box containing sphere, cylinder, and two cubes.) Cylinder in relation to two first substances. The substances compared. Points of resemblance.

11.30 to 12. Games. India-rubber ball, first against wall and second into basket.

2 to 2.45. Folding. Square folded three times. Construct a sailing-ship. Talk about ships and sailing.

2.45 to 3.15. Free recreation.

3.15 to 3.45. Little Talk. To enrich vocabulary we shall talk to-day about different qualities that may be attributed to different objects. (1) Hat. All not alike; they may he round, pointed, flat, large, narrow, small, etc. (2) Bread may be fresh, stale, round, square, hard, brown, white, etc. (This lesson amused the children greatly.)

3.45 to 4. Bowling Hoops.

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Thursday, January 7th

9 to 9.45. Embroidery and Design, following preceding combinations.

9.45 to 10.15. Game of horses, with song.

10.15 to 10.45. Design. Development of Tuesday, the 5th. A new design dictated, then developed by child at will.

10.45 to 11. Gymnastics. To develop sound, Distinguish between sounds far and near, between wood, stone, and iron.

11 to 11.30. Cutting Out. To cut a square into four equal isosceles triangles.

11.30 to 12. Game. Dancing and simple jumping by means of ropes.


Friday, January 8th

9 to 9.45. Little Talk. Study second and third verses of "The Little Shoemaker". Explain and sing.

9.45 to 10.15. Game "The Little Shoemaker."

10.15 to 10.45. Plaiting. Strips of paper; four strips of different colours to make a new pattern.

10.45 to 11. Game, abridged from "Prisoners' Base".

11 to 11.30. Construction. Third and 4th gift. A common object - piano; talk about it, then build.

11.30 to 12. Game. Cat and mouse in middle - circle round.

2 to 2.45. Beads. Bags and bracelets with two threads.

2.45 to 3.15. Free recreation.

3.15 to 3.45. Little Sticks. More practice in number 7.

3.45 to 4. Games.

Saturday, January 9th

9 to 9.45. Tablets. Geometric figures with eight tablets. Squares round a centre. Children working with both hands.

9.45 to 10.15. Game. "The Wolf in the Wood". Song.

10.15 to 10.45. Design. Free-arm drawing. Children draw outline of a poker after one has examined different parts.

10.45 to 11. Game. The blind man - to exercise touch.

11 to 11.30. Plaiting. All the children can spend their time in investigating patterns after formula 3 and 3, and 1 and 1 blended.

11.30 to 12. Game of running. The sea is calm, agitated, stormy. They run slowly, then faster, and lastly, fast and loud.

2 to 2.45 Folding. A hat with wings of rectangular shape.

2.45 to 3.15. Free recreation.

3.15 to 3.45. Sand and Modelling. Make balls of sand, different sizes, and set in rows according to size.

3.45 to 4. Game. Skipping ropes.

It should be explained that during all these lessons the children are constantly moving about. They come out and point to the

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figures on the blackboard, and they are allowed to stand up and speak when they like, without the discipline being too severe.

Moral lessons are also given in these schools, of which the following is a specimen. It is taken from Mme. Gremling's note-book, "The Charitable Child", illustrated by the teacher on the board. "Juliette was on her way to school. Mama had said to her: "Run off, my child, be good, and work well.' Juliette carried her note-book in one hand and in the other was her little basket, well filled for the mid-day meal, for the school was too distant to allow her to return to dinner. On her way, Juliette met a poor woman who led a ragged child by the hand. The child had very bad boots, and it was crying, perhaps from cold. Its mother went from door to door, asking alms, for she had no bread for her child. Little Juliette stopped, then without hesitating, she plunged her hand into her basket and drew out a slice of bread and jam and a large apple, which she gave to the poor child. Imagine the satisfaction of Juliette after this good deed, and the praise she received from her mother when she recounted her good action."


The buildings of the Jardins d'Enfants in Brussels are specially adapted to small children, and built for the purpose. They contain three or four rooms, each holding about 50 children, on the ground floor. These rooms are high, light and airy; they are arranged with three or four narrow and polished tables, each accommodating about 20 children, 10 on each side. The children sit on low benches with backs in proportion to their size. (The rules for the construction of these rooms ordain cots in which children can he placed if overtaken with sleep, but practically there are none in these schools, nor any sort of accommodation for children to rest. It will be noted on reference to the time-table that there is no time for resting anywhere, and, indeed, I never saw a child asleep in the Brussels schools- a sight so familiar in our own baby-rooms.)

At the end of these class-rooms is a desk and chair for the teacher, and a blackboard. Round the rooms are low blackboards inset in panelling which is finished at the top with a narrow shelf on which stand specimens of the children's work. On these blackboards the children themselves draw with chalk. The pictures on the walls were for the most part French - moral subjects. There are no flowers or growing bulbs or seeds in the class-rooms.

A large hall forms the centre of all the new Jardins d'Enfants, where the children play, and often there is more than one. At a new and beautiful school in one of the suburbs, each class-room had its own hall on the opposite side of the passage. The hall has, invariably, a piano, which is much used for singing, marching, and action games. The walls of the hall are often made bright with objects procured for the children by the School Committees, the idea being that the children's curiosity may be

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aroused by the sight of uncommon things, such as the children of the rich see in their houses. "The children are also encouraged to manufacture little things themselves for the decoration of the rooms they occupy; their little works will be exposed on the walls; they will begin to understand that nothing is done without trouble, and that satisfaction should always be gained at the expense of work."

A little passage with many low basins for the children to wash, clean towels and soap, leads out of the hall - sometimes into the garden. These gardens are well planted and mostly gravelled; in the paying Jardins d'Enfants each child has its own garden, but though the rules treat this as a necessity, practically it is not so. At one end of the garden are the children's offices. These are particularly well arranged, with low doors, so that one grown person can command them while they are entirely private to the children. As in the French schools, a femme de service attends to the children's needs.

There is a small bureau for the Jardinière-en-Chef, and rooms in the building for the concierge, who in some cases combines her other duties with that of femme de service.


The cost of building a Jardin d'Enfants, with five class-rooms, is estimated at 125,000 francs. For warming apparatus, lighting, ventilating, and furnishing the same - 9,000 francs. Towards this sum, the State usually gives one-third, the Province one-sixth, and the Ville half. In the last case referred to, the State and Province together gave 68,000 francs, the rest of the expense being borne by the Commune.

The upkeep of each school is shown in a table (see Appendix 15). The total expenses (without building) or the Jardins d'Enfants in Brussels for 1907, amounted to 297,265 francs; the estimate for 1908 is 325,715 francs.


Of these there are 25 distributed among the 10 suburbs.

St. Gilles, containing 60,086 inhabitants in 1905, spent in 1907 a sum of 66,440 francs on one Jardin d'Enfants and three Ecoles-Gardiennes. Although the names are interchangeable in this case the 93 children attending the Jardin d'Enfants paid 40-60 francs a year, amounting in all to 3,400 francs; the Commune of St. Gilles paid 3,236 francs for this school per annum, the total expenses for the year being 6,636 francs.* The Ecoles-Gardiennes, containing 1,140 children, cost 74,946 francs per annum. This sum includes salaries of staff, upkeep of buildings and furniture, warming, lighting, school materials, etc., but no construction or sites. Towards the expenses in 1907 the State gave a grant of 6,150 francs plus an extra grant

*This sum includes 50 francs to a doctor in the Health Department of St. Gilles.

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of 2,690 francs, the Province gave 2,607 francs, and the Commune 63,203 francs.

Ixelles. Population 70,649 in 1905, spent in 1907 a sum of 64,447 francs on seven Jardins d'Enfants. One of these charges fees, 3,000 francs being received per annum. The other six are attached to the elementary schools of the Commune. Towards these schools the State contributes 7,000 francs per annum, the Province 2,256 francs, the Commune 47,296 francs. The number of children frequenting these schools was not forthcoming.

Molenbeek-St.-Jean. Population in 1905 was 64,619; spent 54,522 francs on six Ecoles-Gardiennes in 1907. These were attended by 1,389 children. The schools are all free. Three occupy buildings of their own, three are annexed to Primary schools. Towards the expenses the State gives 8,275 francs, the Province 1,631 francs, the Commune 43,363 francs. In addition to these there is a Jardin d'Enfants annexed to the High School for Girls, which charges fees. The parents' payments amount to 2,500 francs, the Commune gives 3,096 francs.

Saint-Josse-ten-Noode. Population 33,563 in 1905, spent a sum of 20,940 francs on three Ecoles-Gardiennes, receiving towards this 2,500 francs from the State, 1,051 francs from the Province, and 16,677 francs from the Commune. This Commune has also two Jardins d'Enfants annexed to the Primary schools, and one attached to the High school. These all charge fees, and receive grants from State and Province.

Schaerbeck. 71,114 population in 1905, has six Ecoles Gardiennes. This Commune refuses to take children under four years old in these schools; it keeps them for two years before passing them on to the Primary schools. The authorities here have drawn up a very careful programme for the children, and spared no pains or money on their elementary education. Their newest Ecole-Gardienne (not including building), containing six class-rooms, six halls, and 254 children, costs 13,154 francs per annum, of which 11,690 francs are spent on salaries, and 660 francs on cleaning alone. The programme of the Ecoles-Gardiennes at Schaerbeek offers the following suggestions:

The Ecole-Gardienne is but a means of preparing the child to benefit by primary instruction. Its object is to complete the maternal education of children of the working classes, who are seldom surrounded at home by that assiduous care which is required for the harmonious and regular development of organs and intellectual faculties. To develop the physique of these children by exercise and substantial nourishment (see Appendix 21), and to contribute thus to ensuring them robust health; to educate the senses, to awaken the faculty of perception, and the spirit of observation; to encourage the instinct of imitation and the hatching or inventive powers; to teach the children, within possible limits, to express clearly their observations and opinions; to accustom them to cleanliness, order, politeness, activity, obedience, kindness towards animals; to inspire them with a love of truth and taste

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for the beautiful; to make them good, amiable, generous, and merciful; to set them against alcoholic drinks, showing them the advantages of temperance and sobriety - such is essentially human work confided to our teachers - 'jardinières'.

The methods to use are based on the natural laws which govern the physical, moral, and mental development of the child. This is what the genius of Froebel has created. It includes a graduated series of games, exercises, talks, songs, manual occupation, the harmonious blending of which vivifies all organs and powers. The principal role of the teacher 'gardienne' consists in helping the spontaneous activity of her pupil at the right moment. To induce action by making opportunity and supplying an example and application, to throw a charm over the teaching by using the loving persuasions of a mother; this is her part. To succeed, she must avoid the mechanism of the methods, she must not dwell on exterior forms, she must not allow the teaching of work and occupations to become monotonous or apply things as detailed in a manual. She must be permeated with the spirit of the Froebel system; vary the lessons, talks, games; always invent new combinations, and finally lead the children to create for themselves by allowing them to be spontaneous and free.

On the subject of "Little Talks" the syllabus enlarges. There are to be practical talks illustrating the six Froebel gifts; talks about their homes, families, cooking utensils, ailments, parts of the human body, clothes, domestic animals; talks about the seasons of the year. Spring: Working in gardens, the first flowers, fruit trees, birds and their nests. Summer: Flowers and fruits, vegetables, insects, butterflies, bees, corn, wheat, etc. Autumn: Fruit, apples, pears, plums, etc., departure of birds. Winter: Ice, snow; firing, lighting. Talks on little objects brought to school by the children, cultivating their observation and research, accustoming them to arrange and classify; talks on pictures representing scenes from family life or familiar events. The teacher will encourage the children to ask questions, and listen to their explanations of the subjects represented. She will allow them to reproduce these pictures, observing their ideas of colour; talks on moral subjects. The teacher must make choice of a certain number of suitable stories which shall make children love their duties; she must tell the story with feeling, ask questions, and complete the lesson by homely remarks. It is advantageous to establish a relation between the little talks and the moral stories. If she can blend them well, if after the lesson that appeals to the senses and mind she turns to that which appeals to the heart, if the first leads quite naturally to the second, she will exercise a beneficial and enduring influence on the child, the result of this happy alternation.

The stories should not be out of a book; the intelligent teacher will note passing events, public or private, and use them to make interesting and varied stories. Children naturally love animals, the companions of their games - birds, insects, flowers,

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all these are specially interesting. The little pieces of poetry that they should learn are just those which speak of these, and those which make duty appear easy and pleasant. Each little piece should be beautiful, and no efforts should be spared to make the children recite correctly and with expression. Everything that teaches pronunciation is of the first importance in the Jardins d'Enfants. Games are a necessity for children, they must move, run and jump - they are of the very first importance in the Ecoles-Gardiennes. Difference must be made between free games and gymnastic games. The games are watched by the teacher, she suggests and inspires, but gymnastic games have a healthy influence on the development of the body; they should imitate natural movements - the work of the labourer, the movements of animals, things, ships, trains, mills, always accompanied by music when possible. They should always be done out of doors when weather permits. But in bad weather there should be plenty of toys in the hall - balls, skipping-ropes, dolls, horses, boxes of bricks, tools, etc.

Whenever possible, the children should have little gardens of their own (this is possible in suburban schools), where they can garden with their own hands; in sowing seeds, watering and planting, the little pupils get a notion of botany and cultivation, they will learn to observe and love flowers and to appreciate manual labour. Indeed, gardening is such a healthy occupation for children that it should play a large part in the Jardins d'Enfants.

This syllabus, issued to all the teachers of Schaerbeek, adds to its general utility by appending a list of useful books on manual occupation, talks, recitations, songs, games, etc.


There are 35 private Ecoles-Gardiennes, some of which are adopted and subsidised by the Commune. Several of these have crèches attached. For the most part the private schools visited by me were not in such good order as the Communal schools; they contained fewer children as a rule, and the children were less clean; few of them were fed. There were, of course, exceptions, but there were no special points worthy of note. They are mostly under Government, but not medical, inspection. It was impossible to discover how many children were in these private schools without going to each one, no statistics being published.


Jardins d'Enfants (Communaux). Liège, with a population or 172,207 in 1905, has 20 Jardins d'Enfants accommodating 3,800 children. (The whole province of Liège has 228 Ecoles Gardiennes - 113 Communal, 115 adopted - accommodating 20,224 children.) The annual cost of these 20 Jardins d'Enfants is 196,550 francs. Of this, the State pays 20,525 francs, the

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Province 3,100 francs, and the Commune 154,828 francs. The staff consists of 84 teachers, or about one teacher to every 45 children. Their salaries are: One Directrice at 3,800 francs, 20 head mistresses at 1,600-1,800 francs, depending on length of service, 54 teachers receiving 1,300-1,600 francs, and nine receiving 1,000-1,200 francs. They all have to undergo a special course of training, lasting two years at the Training College at Liège, on the Froebel methods. This course includes the following subjects: The elements of education and method generally, including the history of education, principally in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries; special methods applied to the Jardins d'Enfants; accurate knowledge of the Froebel methods; instructive exercises for the Jardins d'Enfants; infant hygiene; the French language; arithmetic; geography of Belgium, and notions of general geography; elementary national history; the first elements of natural history; geometry and design; singing and gymnastics.

Thirty-three pupils completed the course in 1905. Froebel method was introduced into the Liège schools in 1861, and is flourishing vigorously there to-day. The Directrice - practically an Inspectrice - has charge of the Froebelian course for teachers at the Training College. She teaches education, method, Froebel, infant hygiene, and morale. The schools are free and optional for children within the Commune aged from three to six. Those from without the Commune pay a small fee. The schools are open from 8 a.m. Those children who stay all day receive a bowl of soup at mid-day. This soup, given to all the children at the expense of the Commune, is wholesome, substantial, and as varied as possible. Besides meat, potatoes and vegetables, split peas, haricots, rice, sugar, milk, and barley are largely used. It is cooked by means of a bain-marie in one of the central schools which contains a kitchen. During 1904, 395,085 portions of soup were distributed at a cost of 11,375 francs, The average number of portions per day was 1,367 on 289 days of the year. The proportion of portions to litres was 395,085 portions and 189,008 litres.

On St. Nicholas' Day a distribution of clothes takes place. These are made at the Primary schools.

The programme of the Jardins d'Enfants at Liège includes the usual Froebelian course. During the first year the children examine the first four gifts; they practise with little sticks, tablets, weaving, bead-threading, etc. The second year the fifth gift is added, more elaborate work and some design is done; the third year the sixth gift is added, with extra additions in the shape of rings and more varied design. There is no reading or writing, and very little arithmetic done in these schools, perhaps the Liège syllabus with regard to the application of Froebel may be of interest. These are suggestions for little conversations:

October. (1) School, return to school, where the school is, principal divisions of the building. The furniture in the classroom, benches, tables, blackboards, etc. (2) Autumn, the fall of

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the leaves, work, autumn seed-time, hunting, the hunter, dog, game. Vegetables and fruits of the season, provisions for winter.

November. (3) The human body, the head, face, skull, hair. The organs of sense which centre in the head. Body, chin, sides, back. Upper parts; shoulders, arms, elbows, hands. Lower parts: thighs, knees, legs, feet. Cleanliness, need of cleanliness in every part of the body. Very simple advice in hygiene.

December. (4) Clothing, clothes in general. Head-gear. Clothing of the body, wool, silk, leather. The tailor, dress-maker, shoemaker. (5) Winter: days and nights, ice and snow, the pleasures of winter, snowballs, slides, skating, evenings at home. St. Nicholas. Sufferings of the poor. Little birds. Charity. Winter clothing.

January. (6) New Year's Day. Fuel. Necessity of warming the rooms. Principal fuel, wood, coal, coke. The miner, the carter, the coal-dealer. Division of seasons (character of each) into months (recall each one of them by some impressive phenomena, a well-known deed, a dress), into weeks; the days of the week, names, specialities.

February. (7) Necessity of lighting rooms. Means of lightings, candles, oil, lamps. Danger of petroleum, matches, precautions to take, gas, electricity (draw attention to light produced). (8) The family; paternal home, principal parts, furniture of the house, man's profession - mason, carpenter, shoemaker, locksmith, etc.

March. (9) Domestic animals - cat, dog, horse, cow. Beef, mutton, veal, pork. Principal fowls in poultry-yard - cock, hen, chicken, goose, duck.

April. (10) Food: bread, meat, vegetables. Baker, butcher, greengrocer. (11) Drinks: water, coffee, milk, beer, wine. Various uses of water. (12) Spring; appearance of Nature. Sun, warmth, flowers, trees, gardens, fields. Business of the gardener. Principal tools for gardening. Return of the birds; swallows; nests.

May. (13) The fields, wild flowers, singing birds; ways of the common birds. (14) Flowers and vegetables in the month of May. (15) Insects: bee, butterfly, spider, caterpillar, louse, worm, moth. (16) Games of children in spring.

June. (17) Summer: phenomena, length of days and nights, temperature, showers, flowers, summer vegetables; pleasures of summer, work, haymaking, harvest, angling. Various fish. Summer clothes. (18) Means of communication; transport.

July. (19) Minerals: coal, paving stones, marble, gravel. (20) Metals: iron, copper, lead, gold, silver, nickel, tin. (21) Principal holidays; Sundays, national fetes, etc.

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Little Collections. Accustom the children to form little collections of various products easily accessible, such as flowers, leaves, seeds, etc.

Explanation of Pictures. Pictures on card representing scenes from family life, children, fields, games, etc., to be connected with little talks, stories and songs.

Little Moral Stories. Instructive explanation and expressive recitation of easy poetry; little stories about children the same as those being taught, in order to make them know, love and practice duties in accordance with their age.

Songs. Songs, rhythmic, with simple harmonies, melody, and sense. Combination of songs and gymnastic exercises.

Gymnastic Games. The teacher will find in the school library, games, songs, and ideas for stories in connection with her little talks and occupations. She must take into consideration the division to which the children belong in selecting these games, songs, and little stories.

The rules of these schools are for the most part the same as those in Brussels. They are entirely free, open from 8 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. Parents are requested to bring their children, and fetch them themselves if possible, and if not, to depute some responsible person. During the holidays - Christmas, Easter, August, and September - the schools are organised as usual for those children whose parents are at work (Liège consists of a large industrial population). Parents are requested to bring their children washed, and their hair well brushed, with their shoes cleaned and stockings drawn up; on Mondays and Thursdays they are expected to have clean linen, and always to have a pocket-handkerchief.

In addition to these schools there are fourteen private Ecoles-Gardiennes, directed by various religious orders, including the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul, les Filles de la Croix, Ies Sœurs de Ste. Marie, etc.


Population in 1905, 297,311; has 15 Ecoles-Gardiennes (Communales) and 18 Private (Adopted), No accounts forthcoming. Soup is given from November 1st to Easter. Children are given tickets at 1d. each, while a few necessitous children have it free. Five kilos of beef make soup for 100 children.

Nothing much is being done with regard to young children; the latest rules were drawn up in 1880; the Cours Normal bears the same date, and the time-tables, which include 36 occupations, have not been revised since 1882.

In the whole Province of Antwerp there are 42 Ecoles-Gardiennes (Communales) and 170 Private (Adopted), containing in all 31,311 children.

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Comparing the condition of Infant schools in England with those in France and Belgium, one is at once struck by the tremendous stress laid in the latter countries on hygiene. From first to last the physique of young children is recognised as a question of prior importance. Special schools at enormous cost have been built and equipped for infants between three and six.; children are invited, not compelled, to attend these schools, which are, for the most part, perfectly free. But one important condition is imposed. The child must be sent clean, its hair must be well brushed, its shoes cleaned, its stockings drawn up, its linen must be changed on Mondays and Thursdays, and failure to comply with these regulations means dismissal.

To encourage this condition of things, a very large number of garments are given away in these schools through private agencies. Also girls in elementary and secondary schools are taught to make small pinafores, etc., for the infants. And not only external appearance, but the child's physical needs are duly considered. In both countries an attendant (femme de service) is provided, whose duties are to give certain delicate children medicine (where there is organised medical inspection) on arrival; personally to supervise them at the offices twice a day; to take care of those who are obliged to remain to dinner. With regard to the second of these points, attention has been drawn again and again to the deplorable and totally inadequate accommodation of our offices in English schools. The want of proper supervision leads to a condition of affairs wholly incredible to those who have not known, wholly regrettable to those who have the morality of the nation at heart. Added to this, in the case of young children, much ill-health and suffering results from this neglect. It is to be hoped that with all the marked improvements taking place in infant training this crying need may not be set aside.

In Belgium there is constant communication between teacher and parent, and plenty of opportunities for conversation, if necessary, with regard to the child's health. At the hour of dismissal, the Head Mistress, class mistress and concierge are at the big street door where the mothers assemble to meet their children, and as each child is claimed, the Head Mistress often takes the opportunity of congratulating the mother on the child's clean appearance, of suggesting a little more attention in this or that direction, of remarking on what the child has done or said if occasion chanced. While in return, the mother may have something to say or suggest, which is kindly received by the Head Mistress.

Again, the regulations about the children's dinners are more hygienic than ours. Every child in France and Belgium who has to stay at school through the day is obliged to bring its food properly in a basket. The baskets must be properly packed, and there is a special shelf where they are kept neatly

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labelled and in an airy place. Our children are still bringing their dinners in dirty pieces of newspaper; they give the unappetising parcel to their class teacher, who puts it into the cupboard, where reading books, copy books, and all school materials are kept. The cupboard is then closed. The child eats its dinner, cold, and out of the paper. Anything more unwholesome for a young, growing child can hardly be imagined. The provision of penny dinners in cases where the child is obliged to spend the whole day at school is obviously advantageous, and it is effected abroad with very simple organisation. On the other hand, studying the young child under six from an hygienic point of view, one would like to see more time for rest in the breathlessly full programmes of the day. Neither France nor Belgium has any provision for this, though, in any reorganisation of our Infant schools, this subject should receive full consideration. Leaving the hygienic point of view only briefly touched, and passing to the moral and mental training of the child, it may be noted that both France and Belgium are omitting reading, writing, and arithmetic from the subjects to be taught in their Infant schools. From the Communal school programme it has been entirely swept away; some of the small Adopted or Private schools still give in to the parents and teach these subjects. But it is an almost accepted idea now that children have been forced to concentrate their entirely undeveloped minds on subjects such as these to their detriment hereafter. Plenty of free play, undirected occupations and training in self-control in the Infant school will enable the child to learn quickly when it reaches the Elementary school. Madame Desfrée, Inspectrice des Jardins d'Enfants in Brussels, having closely studied the question of learning to read, declares that at the age of six an average child will learn in four months. There are many experts in England who agree with her.

Lastly, let it be observed that though France and Belgium, with regard to the hygiene of Infant schools, have left us somewhat behind, yet, when our reorganisation comes, as come it must in order to reduce the hopeless size of our classes, our large cities can command a well-trained band of teachers, who have been quietly working at new methods, who are trained in the hygiene of child-life, who have attended lectures by experts on the subjects of occupations, story-telling, games, Nature-study, etc., in relation to child psychology. They are studying long and devotedly for the love of the subject, and for no commercial end, and they will be capable, when the times are ripe, to organise the Child Nurseries of England on methods which have grown out of the experience of bygone ages by means of which we may hope to turn our over-disciplined babies into more joyous little beings, happier and healthier, more natural and more spontaneous. And not only this. Both France and Belgium have neglected that part of Froebel's training which has been well called the "soul-hood of the child". Froebel was one of the first to realise the vital importance of revealing to the child the individuality of the human soul, to point out "all the glory that

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may come into its life". He revealed the value of nature work - so little used in the foreign schools. This side of his teaching is being developed in our English infant schools, children are being taught to sow seeds and to watch their growth, to follow the natural growth of flower and fruit, and to realise a higher power than that of man. By our fairy stories, our legends, our myths, our encouragement of the childish imagination, we are laying the foundation of that which must develop later into the relation of the human soul towards the Divine.


December, 1907.

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(For the Table of Contents of this part of the Report, see page 6.)



The first crèche was founded in Paris by M. Firmin Marbeau and opened on November 14, 1844. The crèche Ste Marie was entirely the result of private enterprise and was supported by voluntary contributions. It was designed wholly for the little children of working women. "Pendant que vous gardez l'enfant, le travail garde la Mère". It was not free, women were required to pay 20 centimes a day towards the expenses, emphasis being laid on the fact that the crèche was not intended to feed and shelter the children of the indigent poor, but to help those mothers who are obliged to earn their living by working outside their homes.

In 1845 a small pamphlet appeared setting forth the objects, rules and organisation of the crèche de Chaillot and this was awarded a medal and 3,000 francs by the Académie française.

Tho following year found 14 crèches open in Paris and in many of the large towns of France: Melun, Orléans, Rennes, Toms, Bordeaux, Nantes, Brest, etc. Milan, Brussels, and Vienna had also started crèches after the French model.

In 1817 the Society of Crèches was inaugurated at the Hotel de Ville. (For rules of this Society see Appendix 25, p. 304.) Two years later the third public meeting was presided over by M. Dufaure, M. de Falloux, the Minister of Public Instruction and M. Dupin. The same year the work received the warm approval - though unofficial recognition - of Louis Napoleon, President of the French Republic, while M. Thiers openly proclaimed the work of the Society to be a necessary and urgent duty.

In 1852, Louis Napoleon - Prince President - subscribed to the Society 1,000 francs, the Minister of the Interior gave 3,000 francs, the Department of the Seine 600 and the Municipality 1,000 francs.

Still official recognition was withheld from the crèches, although it had long since been given to the Salles d'Asiles, which took children from 2 years old to 6. (See p. 185.) The question of pauperism raged round the subject. In 1853 the Council of State held a special enquiry, which resulted in favourable reports from the Board of Public Hygiene and Health. Two years later the International Congress of Charity, after close enquiry and discussion, also gave a favourable report, and the following year, on the birth of the Prince Imperial, the Empress Eugenie gave her patronage to the crèches. This was the signal for an Imperial Decree, which was signed by the Emperor Napoleon at the Tuileries on February 26, 1862.

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In 1869 the Society of Crèches was further recognised as an establishment of public utility by order dated July, 1869. From this time forward the growth has been rapid. By 1815 there were 29 crèches in Paris, 6 in the suburbs and 100 in other Departments. By 1889 there were 42 crèches in Paris, 18 in the suburbs and 200 in other Departments. By 1903 there were 68 in Paris, 39 in the suburbs and 293 in other Departments, while to-day (1907) there are 68 in Paris, 44 in the suburbs and 322 in other Departments. (See Appendix 24.)

It is somewhat suggestive to remark here (though the subject is more fully dealt with later) that London, with its 4½ million population has 55 private crèches, while the rest of England has about 19.


Once the crèche had been recognised as a work of public utility it received generous support from the State, Municipality and Departments. The Minister of the Interior gave grants from 300 to 5,300 francs to 31 crèches in Paris, amounting in the year 1904 to 36,700 francs.

The Ville de Paris gave grants varying from 100 to 7,000 francs to 45 crèches in Paris, amounting in the year 1907 to 167,650 francs. The Conseil Général of the Departments gave grants from 400 to 2000 francs to 38 crèches, amounting for the year 1907 to 34,400 francs.

Mothers' contributions from 43 paying crèches amounted in the year 1904 to 57,614 francs.

The Society of Crèches under the Presidency of M. Edouard Marbeau was able to divide the sum of 19,250 francs among 25 crèches in Paris, in the year 1906, besides which there are Subscriptions, Donations, Legacies, the interest on capital, the result of concerts and other entertainments, and a grant from the Pari-Mutuel, etc., to swell the funds supporting the crèches.

Besides this the "Œvre Nouvelle des Crèchee Parisiennes" under the Presidency of Mme. Cremnitz supports 4 crèches free, on the most approved lines of hygiene, no expense being spared.


No crèche may be opened in Paris without leave from the Prefect of the Department. The order of the Prefect fixes the number of children to be admitted. Every crèche wishing to obtain a Government grant must send in an application to this effect to the Minister of the Interior through the Prefect. In support of the application must be appended a recommendation from the Municipal Council, two copies of the local rules (see Appendix 26, p. 306), the receipts and expenditure of the past financial year, the estimate of the coming year, and a note of the size of the wards and the number of children who attend the crèche.

Every crèche receiving a Government grant must be administered by a Council composed of men and women. It may be joined to a Committee of Ladies, who will assist in collecting subscriptions and who will superintend the working of the crèche.

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The Mayor of the locality of the crèche must have a seat on the administrative council with the title of honorary President. Every crèche approved by the Government must keep a register containing the Christian name, surname and age of each child, the name, address and profession of its parents, the date of admission, and the physical condition of the child on entering - a register in which the number of children present each day is entered, a register containing observations and prescriptions of the doctor, and a register for the observations of inspectors and visitors.

Every year the President of the Administrative Council shall submit to the Prefect in duplicate an account of receipts and expenses for the past year with some account of the work done. The Prefect, if he approves, must forward a copy to the Minister of the Interior. The administrative authority will have the right of inspection.*

Owing to the recent suppression of religious orders throughout France, several private crèches have been closed, and others have been refused Government and Municipal grants. To-day, out of the 68 crèches in Paris, 23 are in the hands of religieuses, chiefly the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul. These have ministered free or for a merely nominal wage, and it has been estimated in the reorganisation of expenses that three Sisters would work for the salary of one Directrice.


Every crèche is staffed entirely by women, the proportion of attendants to children being about 1 Berceuse to every 6 children under the age of 1½ years, and 1 Gardienne to every 12 children between the age of 1½ and 3.

At the head of every crèche is a Directrice. No special training is necessary for this post. Beside the Directrice (called Surveillante in a small crèche) is a Berceuse and a Gardienne. In a large crèche there is also a cook and a laundrymaid.


The salaries vary according to length of service, locality and size of crèche. A Directrice, in addition to board and lodging, receives from 960 to 1,200 francs a year. A Surveillante, in addition to board and lodging, receives 800 to 900 francs. Under the old regime a Sister received about 400 francs a year, where service was not given free. A Berceuse in Paris receives 10 francs a week plus the washing of aprons and caps and sometimes food. Cook, laundrymaid, etc., receive 2 francs 50 cents a clay.

Tho following table shows the practical working proportion in six crèches visited personally by me:

*Crèches may be opened in England without leave or right of inspection.

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The Directrice personally superintends everything and devotes her whole time to the crèche. She chooses the Berceuses, pays them, arranges their work, and trains them in the management of babies. She takes the children each morning from their mothers, refusing any who seem ill, and enters the attendance in a register. She has altogether 5 registers in her charge - (1) Containing a full description of the child. (2) Register of attendance. (3) Register of medical inspection. (4) Visits and remarks of Dames Patronnesses. (5) Daily receipts and expenses.

The Directrice further satisfies herself that all the children under her care are equally cared for and attended to, that the air of the room is kept fresh and that a uniform temperature is maintained. She goes round daily with the doctor, reports to him on the children's condition of health and sees that his instructions are faithfully carried out. Any special orders are written on a card attached to each cradle or bed. She takes the mother's fees daily and pays all the daily current expenses, she takes care of the linen, repairs it, orders the food, sterilises or boils the milk for the children and in some crèches dispenses it free to the mothers. She superintends and helps in the washing and bathing of the child. Each bath is reckoned at 10 minutes, and from 18 to 20 baths are given daily between 8 and 10 o'clock. Up to the age of 2½ children are bathed daily, after this age 3 times a week in summer and twice in winter. The Directrice arranges with the mothers who are feeding their children and sees that they consult, the doctor once a week while so doing.

The Berceuses are entirely under the direction of the Directrice. They must be neatly dressed and keep the crèche and utensils clean. They are required to be courteous and obliging to the mothers, to give to all the children the same devoted care and supply all their wants as tenderly as if they were their own children. They must spend their whole day at the crèche, never absenting themselves without leave. They are sternly forbidden to take any gifts or money from the parents under any pretext whatever, under pain of dismissal. The Berceuse, whose duty it is to open the crèche must be there at 5 a.m. She must open the windows, light the stove and get the wards to the right temperature (15° C.). The other Berceuses come at 6 a.m. when the cleaning of the crèche begins and continues till eight. Then the children are washed, clothed, and fed. At 11 a.m. the elder ones have soup and are put to bed. During their sleeping hours the Berceuses have their meal. After each meal the children have their hands and faces washed by the Berceuses, who also take them to the lavatories, etc. They have to keep the babies' bottles clean and each mouth-piece labelled and kept in a glass of water. The bottles have no tubes. The Berceuse has to make the beds and cradles, all of which are raised from the floor.

In many crèches the post of Berceuse is much sought after, as after the training under a good Directrice and some years

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experience in n crèche the Berceuse is well qualified for a situation as nurse in a private family.

The Gardienne for the older children superintends them in the courtyard or garden; directs their little games, etc.

Crèche washing is all done on the premises, mostly in the basement. I saw an ingenious device in one crèche where by means of a little sort of trap door the soiled linen was precipitated into the washing tub below. For washing, a laundry woman comes by the day or week according to the size of the crèche.

Here are a few specimen items showing cost of washing :

These statistics (taken from the Annuaire statistique de La Ville de Paris for 1904) are very variable. The amounts do not include the wages of the laundrymaid, nor upkeep of laundry.* The cooking is entirely done on a gas stove in the kitchen. Details of feeding are given later.


With authority over the staff and in almost daily attendance at the crèches are the Dames Patronnesses, who may be called managers. Their work is entirely voluntary. They are appointed by the Mayor. There are 20 to 30 for each crèche under a Lady President and they divide among themselves the various duties connected with the crèche. The President arranges for each lady to take a certain number of days or weeks in the year to be responsible for the work; the dates and observations of each visit are entered in a register kept by the Directrice. The Manager on duty visits the families from which the children come and makes enquiries in the cases of new applications, etc. With regard to this enquiry, she first verifies the address given by the mother. This is very important, as not infrequently a mother has left her child at the crèche, given a false address and abandoned it altogether. This is specially the case with an illegitimate child. The Manager satisfies herself that the case is genuine; that the mother is really obliged to work away from home, or that her home work is dangerous to infant life. Once admitted, the Manager has to see that the child is brought as regularly as possible, so that the beds may not remain long unoccupied, and this because there is always a fresh risk of infection, and the children are apt to lose the little discipline they receive at the crèche.

If there is much competition for beds, preference is given to the children whose mothers are regularly employed every day in the week. The Managers also give good advice to the mothers on the subject of feeding their children at home. It has been observed that they are often ill on Mondays, after spending the Sunday at home, owing to careless, irregular, or unwholesome

*For details of a modern laundry, see Appendix 28, p. 308.

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food. Again, in cases of real illness, she can see that the child is under proper medical treatment and that the doctor's prescriptions are faithfully carried out.

Inside the crèche the Manager exercises general supervision. She buys and replenishes the linen and children's clothes, attends to the just distribution of duties, to the cleanliness of the bedding, the preparation of the food, the hours of meals; she checks the receipts and expenditure, and, above all, sets an example of gentleness, tenderness and devotion to the staff; indeed, she often spends many hours relieving the staff, nursing the babies, and playing with the elder children.

Lastly, her moral influence makes itself felt throughout the work. In the words of M. Marbeau, President of the Society of Crèches, "The Dame Patronnesse is a mother speaking to mothers: it is her heart that appeals to the hearts of those women whose children she watches over and caresses in the cradles of the crèche. It is she who will succeed in arousing an instinct of the ideal in the mind of the child awakened by the presence of the mother: it is she who will safeguard the dignity and morality of the family, who will encourage those mothers, at times weighed down by the necessity of hard and unproductive work: it is she who will assist the movement of social equality by uniting round the infant's cradle the woman who must work through the day apart from her child, with the mother more favoured by fortune, who has no need of working for her daily bread, but who feels it a Christian duty to help her fellow-creatures."


Children can be received into a crèche without distinction of class or nationality, provided their mothers are obliged to work away from home, or that they work at home under unhealthy conditions. They are admitted at the age of 15 days (in the four Crèches under the "Œvre Nouvelle des Crèchee Parisiennes", they are admitted at eight days) and kept to the age of three. They can be kept longer if they are backward or delicate, and not in a fit state to go to the Ecole Maternelle.

A mother wishing to place her child in a neighbouring crèche applies to the Directrice for admission, presenting with her application a birth certificate, a certificate of vaccination, or the consent of the parents to subsequent vaccination, the names of persons for reference, and a promise from the mother to observe the rules of the crèche.

These rules must always hang in a conspicuous place near the entrance to the crèche, or in the waiting room. (For a specimen of local rules, see Appendix 26, p. 306.)

The child, if these conditions are satisfactory, must then be shown to the crèche doctor, who will give a certificate of health. If the child is absent through illness for a period exceeding eight days, a fresh medical certificate will be required. After due inspection of the health certificate the child is admitted by the Directrice, or the President of the Committee of Managers,

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Each child must be registered on the day of its admission in a register divided into columns with these heads: (1) Surname and Christian name of child. (2) Date of birth. (3) Date of admission and sanitary condition of child as described on the certificate of admission. (4) If fed by mother or bottle. (5) Address of parents. (6) Profession of parents. (7) Date of leaving. (8) Reasons for leaving, and condition of child's health.

The mother is requested to bring the child in a state of cleanliness. While she is feeding it herself she must come regularly to the crèche at least twice a day. She must fetch the child home in the evening before the crèche closes. Access to the wards is usually permitted, on condition that mothers observe the rules of propriety and cleanliness and do not stay long. In some crèches all visiting during the day is forbidden. The mother must always inform the Directrice of the address of her place of business, so that in cases of urgency she can be found at once.

She must pay her contribution (20 centimes for one child and 15 centimes each for two) to the Directrice every morning, and so long as the child is on the crèche register she must show that she is obliged to go to work or is incapable of attending to the child at home.

Illegitimate children are admitted to the crèches after due investigation. But the crèche is not erected to receive those children of whom the mother wishes to rid herself of for a few hours.

Several instances are quoted of cases where the enquiry at home has been dispensed with, and the children admitted merely on the application of the mother. One mother brought her baby to the crèche in order that she might exercise her little dog by the fortifications of the town! Another baby was brought regularly on one day in the week to enable its mother - the wife of a young officer - to walk in the country with her husband, unencumbered by the child.


With the exception of 9 crèches in Paris and 10 in the Department of the Seine, all crèches demand a small contribution from the mothers. (The 4 crèches under the "Œvre Nouvelle des Crèchee Parisiennes" are entirely free.)

The contribution varies slightly according to the average wage of workers within the commune in which the crèche is situated. The average payment is at the rate of 20 centimes for one child and 15 each for two.

In the year 1906 the mothers' payments amounted to the following proportion of the whole:

In the 66 crèches in Paris (1904) the mothers' payments amounted to 72,035 francs, the ordinary expenses to be defrayed

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being 603,326 francs, hence the mothers' contribution to the support of the crèche amounted to little more than one-eighth of the total expenses.*

The proportion of children admitted free is small in comparison to those who pay. For instance, in 7 crèches chosen at random, there are 7,191 paid attendances to 750 free; 7,328 to 394 free; 6,542 to 416 free; 3,430 to 451 free; and 5,010 to 758 free.

The French authorities are of opinion that it is impossible to make such an institution self-supporting.

Originally in Paris payment was sternly enforced. When a mother was no longer feeding the child herself she was, obliged to bring a basket of food, eggs, milk, etc., to be prepared at the crèche daily. TIns involved what was considered a salutary sacrifice on the part of the mother. But the food brought in the basket was too often poor in quality, and, from a hygienic point of view, it was considered advisable to feed the child entirely. This was done without increasing the mother's fee.


If a mother earns about 1 fr. 50 c. to 2 fr. 50 c. a day, she pays about one-tenth of her earnings on the child at the crèche. But this sum is but one-fifth of the whole cost of the child at the crèche per day. M. Marbeau, President of the Society of Crèches; calculates that in Paris and the Department of the Seine the average cost per child per day at the crèche is 1 franc. M. Binet calculates higher, and puts the estimate at 1 fr. 50 c. per day.

. The following table gives a selection of crèches in various Arrondissements, with their averages, as worked out in their annual reports:

The crèche de l'Etoile, estimating its daily expense per child per day, gives the various items: Milk, 12 c.; bread, 35 c.; meat, 32 c.; groceries, 39 c.; butter and vegetables, 29 c.


Food is supplied entirely free at the crèche. The largest item in the expenditure is milk, which varies considerably, and it is thus difficult to estimate amounts as so many crèches give milk to the mothers in addition to take home.

*It is interesting to note in this connection that the new English Day Nurseries charge a much higher rate for mothers, 4d. for one child and 7d. for two.

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The following table shows a rough proportion of the articles of food used :

The last three crèches give milk to the mothers. The milk is sterilised. The amount of milk to be consumed per day for children under one year (artificially fed) is given in Appendix 29, p. 309. The crèche dietary for children from one year to two years varies in different crèches, but an ordinary dietary is:

At 10.30 a.m., panades* with eggs and milk.
At 3 p.m. brioches and milk.
At 5 p.m. milk soup.
Eggs in the soup have recently been added with good results.

The crèche dietary for children from two to three years of age is:

At 11 a.m., soup, eggs, purée, fruit.
At 2.30 p.m., bread, chocolate made with milk.
At 5 p.m., eggs, slices of bread and jam, and milk.
Vermicelli, crême de riz, etc., are largely used, and in some crèches phosphatine is given freely.


The children attending the Paris crèches are supplied with clothes. These are changed when they arrive in the morning and again when they return home at night. The clothes in which they come are at once taken off and put away in a shelf labelled with the number of the child's cradle or crib. If necessary they are disinfected. The child, after washing, is

*Panades, the universal food for babies in France, consists of bread boiled in water for four or five hours, when hot milk is added and a little salt.

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dressed in clothes belonging to the crèche. Some of the elder children, who come in clean clothes, are supplied with pinafores only. These are kept at the crèche and washed at the crèche. The clothes are supplied out of the funds, the material is bought by the managers, and often the small garments are made up at charitable working parties. In addition to the original stock, clothes for the children form a considerable item in each year's expenses.

Here is the proportion taken from 5 crèches: With a yearly attendance of 8,617 clothing cost 926 fr.; with an attendance of 14,014 it cost 112 fr.; with an attendance of 8,494 it cost 100 fr.; with 7,125 it cost 641 fr.; and with 12,511 it cost 1,061 fr.

The following is a list of garments for starting a new crèche for 35 children of varying ages :

The girls and boys in the crèche are usually distinguishable by the different colours of their pinafores, the girls being in pink and the boys in blue. Swaddling clothes are still used for delicate babies up to the age of three or four months.


The Paris crèches are visited every day by a doctor. These doctors give their services entirely free; there are usually seven or eight, sometimes more, attached to a crèche and these take it in turns to visit. Some crèches have a committee of doctors with a president and vice-president in order to arrange the hygiene of the crèche. Great stress is laid on these daily visits, the idea being that it is the mission of these doctors not to cure illness, but to prevent it by giving close attention to the temperament and physical condition of each child individually.

The crèche in Paris has become an arena for fighting infant mortality and a centre for teaching hygiene to mothers.

To some crèches is attached a "Consultation for Nurslings" or School for Mothers, to which infants are brought for weekly inspection and tables are kept of the weight and progress of each child. This is of course for children not in the crèche. Children in the crèche are most carefully weighed every week. (A table of growth for children under one year will be found in Appendix 29, p. 309.) Some startling results have been obtained by these Consultations for Nurslings in connection with crèches. At Varengeville-sur-Mer such an institution exists and the table of

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infant mortality (which from 1897 to 1904 had averaged 145 deaths per 1,000), had no death to record of those infants who had received weekly inspection at the Consultation for Nurslings.

In Paris, where infant mortality from 1897 to 1904 had averaged 178 per 1,000, the average for babies attending the Consultation of Nurslings was reduced to 146 per 1,000.

At, Fécamp, an infants' dispensary was originated under the name of "A drop of Milk" in connection with a crèche at which good milk was put at the disposal of mothers. This reduced infant mortality 2.8 per cent. M. Budin's experiments in various Paris crèches have had excellent results. In four crèches in various Arrondissements of Paris, by careful and systematic feeding and close supervision during the four hot summer months he lost not a single child out of 283.*

The chief infantile complaints dealt with in the crèches are diarrhoea, meningitis, convulsions, bronchitis, pneumonia, and enteritis. All medicines are given free at the crèches.

A suggestive course of practical hygiene has been given to girls from 17 to 20 at a private crèche for the children of work-people by the founder Mme. Léon Lévy. Taking the girls in groups of eight, Mme. Lévy lectured in the wards of the crèche, The five lectures are given in Appendix 30 (p. 310), not so much for their hygiene, which is not quite modern, but for the treatment and arrangement of the course. At the end the girls were allowed to practise washing the babies, preparing the food, sterilising milk, etc. They were subsequently examined by doctors of Paris crèches, who reported very favourably and strongly recommended the scheme to the Managers of other crèches.

The 45 crèches in Paris receiving municipal grants are subject to inspection. In addition to the ordinary Inspectors, a lady Inspector of Crèches has recently been appointed.

All the Paris crèches can be visited without authority by visitors. They are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are closed on Sundays and Festivals, otherwise there are no holidays. Practically they have to be closed at intervals for cleaning or painting or necessary repairs.


Though each crèche differs in size and accommodation, yet all the more modern buildings contain in greater or less degree the same number and arrangement of premises. A great many of them are merely private houses adapted for the purpose and some, though recognised centres of hygiene, are sadly wanting in the most elementary principles of sanitation, as indeed are many of our own at home. The new buildings all contain a hall, leading directly to a waiting room where the mothers can feed their babies or wait.

Leading directly from the hall is also the large bedroom for very young babies known as the Salle des Berceuses This is

*"The Nursling", by P. Budin, translated into English by W. Maloney, M.B., 1907. It is Interesting to note that in three summer months of the same year England and Wales together lost 23,058 infants under one year.

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fitted with raised iron cradles arranged in rows with their heads to the wall and pointing towards the centre. The floors are bare; the walls can be washed, the windows are large. A ministerial order of 1897 fixed 9 metres per child as the minimum cube of air for the children's sleeping rooms. In the crèche Fénélon-Charles the Salle des Lits containing 36 beds measures 10m. 60c. by 7m.15c.

The Salle des Lits is the bedroom for the larger children with small iron cribs placed in rows along the wall. Every child rests in the middle of the day. In some crèches there are a number of small wards for the elder children, who can be watched through glass doors, without fear of disturbing them.

A huge playroom comes next in size and importance. It is often known as the pouponnière by reason of this article of furniture which is fitted into every crèche. A circle of wooden railings is fixed to the floor, usually in the centre of the playroom and within them runs another set. Between these two the children can walk and run without danger of falling. Inside are low benches, chairs and little tables, where the smaller children can sit and play with their toys. A large number of little children can be left in the pouponnière with safety. (See Appendix 36, p. 328,)

Every modern crèche has its kitchen fitted with a gas stove and oven. A lavatory is fitted with small raised baths and low basins. The water for these is usually warmed by means of a geyser. Many of the bath rooms are tiled as are also the adjoining cabinets. There is a linen room fitted with cupboards and shelves for both house linen and children's linen: a small office for the Directrice where the registers are kept; a small office for the doctors with weighing machine, writing desk, etc.: a sterilising room, where also the babies' bottles are kept. All these rooms are on the ground floor. Below usually is the laundry; above are the Directrice's rooms and an isolation room in cases of infection.

No flowers are allowed inside a crèche, but a garden outside is an acknowledged necessity for a modern crèche. The playgrounds are mostly gravelled and planted with chestnuts, with heaps of sand for the children to dig, also sun shelters.

The beds, bedding and linen required for a crèche of 35 children are as follows:

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The Crèche Fourçade (model) lately rebuilt and equipped cost 194,839 fr, exclusive of site which was presented by the original founders. In the year 1906 the current expenses (as shown in Appendix 27, p. 307) were 21,017 fr. 95 c. The average cost of erection of the five Paris crèches referred to in Appendix 35 was approximately 80 for each place, exclusive of the work of the site.

Among the chief Paris architects for crèches may be mentioned M. Paul Marbeau, whose crèche, St. Amelie de Charonne, took a silver medal at the Paris Exhibition in 1900, M. Girardin, M. Bechmann, M. Adelgeist, M. Reposeur and M. Charles Dupuy.

In Appendix 35, p. 320, will be found plans and cost of building of various crèches in Paris. As the site in most cases has been presented by the founder, this item is for the most part not forthcoming.


Although it is an acknowledged fact that the conditions in France are wholly different from those in England, the provision for children under the age of three years in this country is wholly inadequate to her growing needs.

A brief comparison will accentuate the neglect.

With a population of over 4½ million, London in 1904 had 55 crèches accommodating in all 1,693 children under three. With a population of 2¾ million, Paris had 66 crèches accommodating 2,491 children under three. In other words London had crèche accommodation for one child in every 2,500, Paris had crèche accommodation for 1 child in every 1,000. Whereas the

[page 184]

average attendance in London for each crèche was 21, that in Paris was 28. The crèches in London are private with no aid from State or Municipality, while those of Paris have received both since 1862. London has no registration or system of inspection, while Paris has medical inspection daily and municipal inspection in her crèches. Lastly, the London crèches are distributed quite irregularly, some of the poorest boroughs having none at all, while Paris crèches are evenly distributed among 20 arrondissements. Even more startling are the differences outside the capitals. France, not including Paris or the Department of the Seine, has 322 crèches. England, not including London or Greater London, has 19.*

The large towns of Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Bradford, and Bristol, with a population about equal to that of Paris, had 9 crèches between them all in 1904.


English crèches or Day Nurseries, are for the most part organised by committees of ladies. They are mostly parochial and supported entirely by voluntary contributions. Few of them are in houses built for the purpose, but mostly in adapted premises. Any private person may open a crèche in England without leave from any public body; crèches are unregistered and under no inspection. Food is supplied to children in all the London crèches, with the exception of those 12 started by the late School Board in 1883, of which 4 only remained in 1904. With the exception of 4 crèches in London all refuse to take illegitimate children.

A movement towards a better condition of things has been recently made by the National Society of Day Nurseries founded in 1906. Its objects are: (1) to assist local committees who are opening and maintaining Day Nurseries on model lines; (2) to make financial grants to Nurseries conducted on lines approved by the Society; (3) to arrange for the inspection of Nurseries by the Medical Officer of Health for the district in which they are situated; (4) to endeavour to affiliate all existing Day Nurseries; (5) to collect information on the subject of Day Nurseries in this and other countries; (6) to publish reports of work done by existing Day Nurseries and to formulate suggestions for their improvement.

Day Nurseries organised or helped by this Society are to be regarded, not for relieving mothers from responsibility, but for providing centres for the teaching of infant care and rearing. Under their auspices a new crèche has been opened at Hammersmith and one at Fulham, which compare most favourably with those in Paris. Indeed in several hygienic principles (such as swaddling versus free movement, ventilation, etc.), England is admittedly foremost.

In addition to these (and others are springing up rapidly),

*Statistics taken from the Report of the Chief Officer of Public Control, 1904.

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there is a Jewish crèche working on excellent lines at Whitechapel. Here children are admitted up to the age of five, the compulsory school age, and a Kindergarten teacher takes the elder children for games, etc. The attendances for the year 1906 were 7,668; the expenditure for the same year was 133.


Whereas the crèche takes children from the age of 15 days to three years, the Ecole Maternelle takes them from the age of two to six, thus the two systems overlap by one year. Both are entirely optional, but while at the crèche there is the nominal charge of 20 centimes per day, the Ecole Maternelle is entirely free. Both are open from 7 a.m. to. 7 p.m., though the regular hours of the Ecole Maternelle are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As in the case of the crèche, the origin of the Mother-schools in France was both religious and charitable.


The Salle d'Asile, or infants' school, was started in the year 1771 by a French pastor Fred Oberlin at a small village in the Vosges. Here, in a little room, young children were collected together to pray, to sing, to learn a little reading and writing, and some manual work, such as coarse knitting; hence their original name "Knitting Schools".

The idea of educating young children was growing, not only in France. Raikes was establishing so-called Sunday Schools in England; Owen followed with mothers' schools in Scotland in connection with the woollen factories which took mothers from their homes. But before Froebel had established his first Kindergarten (1840) a committee of ladies, with a municipal grant of 3,000 francs, had opened the first infant school in Paris under the name of the Salle d'Essai. It was opened in the Rue du Bac with 80 children between the ages of two and six, under the management of the Sisters of Providence. In the year 1828 M. Cochin, Mayor of Arrondissement XII, founded a model school on the same lines with a Normal Course attached to it. Soon after this the Salles d'Asiles received State recognition and were placed under Government inspection.

In the year 1836 there were 24 such schools in Paris containing 3,600 children with a State grant of 75,000 francs, and 800 in the provinces containing 23,000 children. Twelve years later, in the words of M. Carnot*, "Infant schools, improperly called charitable establishments, are henceforth establishments of Public Instruction and to be called Ecoles Maternelles."

A few years later, rules were laid down for the instruction of the children and no further changes of any importance were made till 1881, when all religious instruction was forbidden. The result of this was that a number of private Ecoles Maternelles

*"L'Education de la Première Enfance." M. Gréard

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sprang up under the direct management of religious bodies and supported by voluntary contributions, all State aid being withdrawn.*


The Ecoles Maternelles are staffed entirely by women. At the head of every school is a Directrice. She is helped by a number of assistants depending on the number of children in the school. The proportion allowed is one assistant to every 40 children. Thus on July 1st, 1906, there were in Paris 170 Ecoles Maternelles (public) containing 45,910 children, 169 Directrices and 672 assistants to 767 classes. This gives an average of 270 children in each school, but the attendance is very variable.

The private schools are smaller and more amply staffed. On July 1st, 1906, there were 46 schools in Paris containing only 6,706 children, an average of 124 children in each school.


The Directrice of an Ecole Maternelle must possess a certificat d'aptitude pédagogique.† She enters on her duties at a scale of salary of the 4th class, that is 2,400 francs (paid by the State), minus 5 per cent deducted for pension, plus indemnité de résidence 1,090 francs, plus logement 800 francs (paid by the Commune), giving a total of4,200 francs. This is according to the new scale of salaries dating from April, 1905.

After a period of from three to five years of satisfactory conduct, on the recommendation of the Inspecteur d'Académie to the Préfet de la Seine, she is promoted to the 3rd class, in which she receives, under the same conditions as before, 2.,400 francs salary, plus 1,300, plus 800, giving a total of 4,500 francs. In the 2nd class, to which promotion takes place under the same conditions as before, she receives 2,400 francs, plus 1,600, plus 800., or 4,800 francs; finally, in the 1st class, she receives 5,200 francs.

At the end of 25 years service as Directrice, or at the age of 55, she can retire on her pension, which amounts to half her salary minus the sums paid by the Commune.

The salaries of the assistant mistresses are paid in the same way and under the same conditions. They begin (in Paris) at 2,200 francs, i.e. 1,100, plus 500, plus 600, and rise to 3,200 francs, made up of 1,600, plus 1,000, plus 600.

The Femmes de service, chosen and dismissed by the Directrice, are paid by the Commune at the rate of about, 1,000 francs per year rising to 1,200.

In addition to these there are the Concierges at the lodge.

*For a further account of the Ecoles Maternelles see "The Ecoles Maternelles of Paris", by Miss Mary S. Beard, in Vol. 8 of Special Reports on Educational Subjects published by the Board of Education, 1902.

†For particulars of this, see "Summary of the Official Regulations affecting the Training and Position of Teachers in State Primary Schools in France, by Miss H. E. Matheson, in Vol. 18 of Special Reports on Educational Subjects (1907).

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They attend to the whole group of schools, but part payment comes into any annual financial statement.

The Budget for 1907 gives the total expenses of the staff for the Ecoles Maternelles in Paris at 3,145,198 francs, made up as follows :


The Directrice, who must be over the age of 25, is appointed by the Prefect under the authority of the Minister of Public Instruction on the nomination of the Inspecteur d'Académie.

It is somewhat difficult to define the duties of a position such as this. In the words of Mme. Pauline Kergomard, Inspectrice Générale des Ecoles Maternelles, "The Ecole Maternelle is a large family: the Directrice is the mother of a great number of children." A ministerial circular accompanying the re-organisation of the Ecoles Maternelles in 1905 sets forth the general trend of duties required in a Directrice.

"The object of the Ecole Maternelle is to give children under the school age such care as is required for their physical, intellectual and moral development, and to prepare them to profit by the primary instruction which follows. It is not a school in the ordinary sense of the word: it should be a passage from the family to the school: it should combine the charm and tenderness of family life with the work and regularity of school. A successful Directrice of the Ecole Maternelle cannot be judged by the amount of knowledge imparted, by the standard attained, by the number or length of lessons given, but rather by the good influences surrounding the child, by the amount of pleasure it takes in coming to school, by its orderly habits, cleanliness, politeness, attention, obedience and the general intelligent activity it displays while playing at games. Consequently the Directrice should occupy herself less in attempting to hand over to the primary school, children already far advanced in their education, than those well prepared to receive that education. Everything in the Ecole Maternelle should be arranged according to this general principle; the Directrice should strive to develop the various faculties of the child without weariness, without compulsion, without too much application; she should make the children love their school and love their work, never forcing them

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to do those things which are incompatible with the weakness and activity of early childhood.

The object to be attained, after due consideration of their different temperaments - the precocity of some compared with the slowness of others - is not to force all alike up to a certain standard in reading, writing and reckoning, but rather to make them understand what they know and to create in them a love of their tasks and their games; above all, to see that they do not take a dislike to their first school tasks, which may so easily become distasteful to them, unless the Directrice, with patience, enjoyment and love, enlivens them to give pleasure to the child.

Good health, hearing, sight, touch, already trained by a gradual succession of little games and little experiences fitted to train the senses; infant ideas, but clear in the first elements of what will later be elementary education; the beginnings of habits and customs upon which later on the school can build; a taste for gymnastics, singing, drawing pictures, little recitations; an eagerness to see, to observe, to imitate, to question and to answer; a certain faculty of attention, nurtured by skilful management, confidence and good nature; finally, intelligence awakened in the mind opened to good and moral impressions - such should be the results of the first years spent at the Ecoles Maternelles. And if the child arrives at the primary school with such preparation, it matters little whether it adds to this a few pages of its spelling book or not."

Such morally is the attitude of the ideal Directrice.

Practically she has various duties to fulfil. She must keep various registers: (1) a register of the names of the children, date of birth and leaving, names, homes and professions of parents, with a column for observations; (2) a register for doctors' observations, (3) a register of attendances per month; (4) a register of stock, etc. These should always be at the disposal of the Primary Inspector and the Departmental Inspector or Inspectrice of the Ecoles Maternelles. On the arrival of the children in the morning, the Directrice has to ascertain that each is well. If a child is brought ill, she need not admit it. If it becomes ill in the course of the day, it is taken home by the femme de service.

The Directrice also makes it part of her duty to see that the child is clean. Great stress is laid on this in the Ecole Maternelle. In the hall of every school is a lavatory, with an open set of low basins with hot and cold water laid on. Here every morning and again at 1 o'clock the children, superintended by the femmes de service, wash their hands and faces. There is a growing feeling that it is not enough to have the hands and faces only clean, when the rest of the person is dirty. One school visited by me (Rue Lamarck) had it newly arranged bath room with four small baths, which were used on Saturday afternoons from 4 to 7, when some 30 children are bathed.*

The Directrice inspects the baskets brought by the children

*For details of Bains-Douches, see Appendix 32, p. 314.

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who stay for the day; she sees that each has it spoon and serviette and something suitable to drink.

She also sees that each child has brought a pocket handkerchief. Failing this most necessary possession, many schools have introduced paper pocket handkerchiefs invented by Dr. Calmette, Director of the Pasteur Institute at Lille.

The Directrice receives the pence of each child who stays to dinner and whose parents can afford to pay. She keeps the list of those who are fed free of charge. She supervises the school cantines. The hours of service arranged for the Directrice and her assistants is given in Appendix 33, pp. 315-317.

No Directrice may absent herself without leave from the Primary Inspector and without notifying the same to the lnspectrice of Ecoles Maternelles. For an absence of three days, leave has to be obtained from the Inspecteur d'Académie and for eight days from the Prefect who is always President of the Departmental Council.


These are arranged by the Directrice on a system prevailing in all the Ecoles Maternelles, but not entirely approved by the authorities. Children are given "good points" as rewards of good conduct. These take the form of squares of card, which are kept in little bags or pockets hung round the children's necks. They are won in various ways. For instance, on arrival in the morning, children show hands and pocket handkerchiefs; if these are satisfactory they receive a "good point". At the end of each month these pIeces of card representing "good points" are exchanged for a picture or toy - 25 "good points" receive a reward. At the end of each month for general good behaviour and morals the children receive a croix de mérite, which they wear in school.

No corporal punishment whatever is allowed. The only punishments permitted are a short suspension of games and renunciation of good points.


Prizes are forbidden in the French schools, but they are nevertheless given to the children of the Ecoles Maternelles. The children are dressed up in their best clothes and wear garlands of artificial flowers on their heads, often made by themselves, and a délégué cantonal gives away pictures and small books to each child. This gratifies parents and teachers, but is not much approved by the authorities.


The assistant mistresses are entirely under the Directrice. They must be over the age of 17 and hold the brevet de capacité for primary education. Each has a separate class of children, and a great deal depends on the ingenuity and child-love of the individual teacher. The assistants help with the

[page 190]

midday meal if required, but those not wanted are obliged by the rules to go home to dinner. The school hours are very long and the assistants take it in turns to stay over time.

For division of hours see Appendix 33, pp. 315-317.


The femmes de service are a most important addition to the staff of the Ecoles Maternelles. They are Appointed by the Directrice with the consent of the Mayor and paid by the Commune. There is one at least in every school and two if the numbers justify it. Their duties are very various. They sweep out the school every day with sawdust and a liquid disinfectant. The femme de service opens the school at 8 a.m. in winter and 7 a.m. in summer for any children whose mothers go early to work. She looks after them till the Directrice and assistants arrive at 9 o'clock. She then personally superintends the children aux cabinets every morning and again at 1 o'clock.*

The femme de service also washes the children's hands and faces, where they are too young to perform this office for themselves, and she helps to wait on them at their school dinner. She is, in fact, a most valuable institution for young children.


The concierge and his wife belong to the whole group of primary schools - boys, girls and infants. They live at the school lodge and open the door into the street. In some cases the wife of the concierge cooks the dinners at the Ecoles Maternelles. The concierge has to light and extinguish stoves, attend to the gas and see to the windows.


As in the case of the crèche, a committee of ladies is appointed to superintend the general working of the school and specially to visit at the homes of the children. About 20-40 are annexed to each school. They are appointed by the Inspecteur d'Académie on the recommendation of the Mayor, who presides over the Committee meetings.


The Ecole Maternelle is optional and free. Children of both sexes are admitted between the ages of 2 and 6. They must produce a note of admission from the Mayor of the Commune. Any child demanding admission must present a medical certificate stating whether it has had smallpox and certifying that it is suffering from no infectious complaint or any infirmity of a nature likely to injure the health of the other children. Parents

*This, from an hygienic point of view is of the greatest importance and is greatly neglected in English infant schools. A highly trained teacher can hardly be expected to perform menial services for the small children though indeed they often do.

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are requested to keep to the rules; they are expected to escort children under 4 to the crèche; after that age, and on written authority from the parents or guardians, children are allowed to come and go alone. Mothers are specially asked to bring the children clean, and to pack in their school basket a spoon, serviette, some bread and wholesome drink.*


The parents pay nothing toward the support of these schools, the expenses of which are defrayed by the State, the Department and the Commune. The various grants and their conditions are somewhat complicated, but briefly stated: The State gives a grant toward the construction, which construction for an Ecole Maternelle is calculated at 18,000 francs. This grant in the case of an Ecole Maternelle is optional, though it is compulsory in the case of a primary school. The State pays teachers' salaries and pensions, the salaries of Inspectors, Inspectrices and the administrative staff; it gives grants to the Caisses des Ecoles and towards the teachers' medals.

The Department pays general administrative expenses, pays for prizes and medals and gives grants to the Caisses des Ecoles.

The Commune (and every commune containing 2,000 inhabitants must have an Ecole Maternelle or a Classe Enfantine) pays the board and lodging of teachers, the repair of school buildings, warming and lighting, wages of the femmes de service, furniture and stock, stationery and registers, and gives a grant to the Caisses des Ecoles.


This society practically represents the private enterprise that operates in connection with the primary schools in France.

Originally all informal association originating in Paris (Arrondissement II) in 1849 to aid in obtaining extra school funds, the institution grew in importance till in the year 1882 there were 132 Caisses des Ecoles in Paris and the Department of the Seine with a capital of 820,000 francs.

So great was its sphere of usefulness that in 1882 an establishment of the Caisses des Ecoles was made compulsory in every commune or collection of small communes by the Municipal councils of France with a grant varying with their respective needs. In 1902, France had 17,439 such societies with a general expenditure of 6,700,385 francs. At the close of 1905, the society had spent 2,490,856 francs on the primary schools in Paris alone.

The society is composed of ordinary members paying from 10 to 15 francs a year, founders paying about 100 to 200 francs in advance, and donors subscribing various sums.

The administration is directed by a committee elected every three years. It includes always the Mayor as president, deputy Mayors, members of the Commission municpale scolaire,

*The children mostly bring wine - often spirits - rarely milk.

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three members of the delegates of the canton, the Justice of the Peace for the arrondissement, and thirty elected members from the list of general subscribers. The committee itself elects a vice-president, secretary, under-secretary, and treasurer. Added to these are the Dames Patronnesses of the schools, who have the power of voting, and a body of Dames Délégués to distribute the help voted by the Committee. Meetings take place once every two months with an annual meeting of subscribers to consider the yearly report of the work, which is then forwarded to the Inspecteur d'Académie.

The object of the Society is to encourage the attendance at school, whether compulsory or optional (as in the case of the Ecole Maternelle), to destroy every motive or pretext for absent children by providing clothing and boots for necessitous children, to give wholesome food to children attending the public elementary schools. The Society originated the Cantines Scolaires, still financed by them with special grants for this purpose. In 1906 the Municipality of Paris gave 1,000,000 francs to be divided among the Caisses des Ecoles for the Cantines Scolaires of Paris . These include the Ecoles Maternelles.

The Society dispenses medicines in the schools. (See p. 202.) It also rewards in various ways the families or the children at school, so as to stimulate parental responsibility, to encourage good conduct and assist deserving teachers.

The Colonies de Vacances are under this organisation. Several of the local societies have started Colonies Enfantines to enable children from the Ecoles Maternelles to go into the country. Towards the expenses of these Colonies de Vacances in Arrondissement V, the Municipal Council of Paris gave a grant of 10,300 fr., 100 fr. of which was spent on Colonies Enfantines.

In addition to the work done by the Caisses des Ecoles with regard to children's holidays, there is a Society, the "Œuvre Parisienne des Colonies Maternelles scolaires" founded by teachers of the Ecoles Maternelles in Paris, for sending children under six for a month into the country. In 1901, 90 children were sent at a cost of 7,772 fr., toward which expenses the General Council of the Department of the Seine gave 1,000 fr., the Municipal Council 300 fr., the Minister of the Interior 300fr., and the Caisses des Ecoles 950 fr.


With regard to the holidays at the Ecole Maternelle, the schools are open every day except Sunday and in some cases Thursday.

The schools are also closed on the following days:

The day after All Saints' Day. December 31st, January 1st and 2nd. Shrove Tuesday. Thursday in mid-Lent. Days of Commune fêtes. The day following the Fête Nationale (July 14th). Ten days at Easter, from the Thursday before Easter Day to the Sunday following.

[page 193]

These days are in addition to the school holidays for the staff. Although none of the staff are required to attend on Thursdays, a band of auxiliary teachers in Paris has been formed to superintend on Thursdays those children whose parents are out and who would otherwise be exposed to the dangers of the streets.


Originally this subject was taken up by the Caisses des Ecoles experimentally in five arrondissements of Paris, and classes were formed on Thursdays in the Ecoles Maternelles and Girls' Schools. These classes were only accessible to those children whose parents were ill or working away from home all day. Each class was composed of 40 to 50 children. The ordinary time table was not kept, but the children were taught games, sometimes taken for walks, and generally occupied or amused. In 1896 the subject was taken up by the Municipal Council of Paris, which had already given a grant of 40,000 francs to the Caisse des Ecoles for purposes of organisation. A band of auxiliary teachers was recruited, consisting of 225 women and 75 men, to undertake the supplementary work, together with any regular assistants who liked to officiate. These classes are not formed in every school, but there will be one or two to a group of several. It is open, if necessary, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but usually only in the afternoons. The auxiliary teachers get a fixed salary of 900 francs a year and an additional 2fr. 50c. for each day on supply.

In 1904 the sum of 884,850 francs was spent on the expenses of the auxiliary force, which also manages the Classes de Vacances.


Until 1905 the Ecoles Maternelles were only closed for one month in the summer. Now the whole staff has a right to six weeks during August and September. If the school is situated in a good neighbourhood it is entirely closed; if, however, it is in a poor part and the parents are away all day, a holiday school is opened. This is done at the request of the Municipal Council and on the recommendation of the Inspecteur d'Académie. The position is well summed up thus: "Holidays are indispensable to teachers, but they are full of grave inconveniences to the children of the working classes, who are exposed to the dangers of the street during a long period. The Ville de Paris has solved the difficulty by holiday courses. During four or six weeks the doors of the school are open to these children. Arrangements have been made to give these poor disinherited little ones some of the amusements which fall to the lot of their more favoured comrades. The morning is taken up with attractive games, the afternoon is reserved for walks and rambles. Those teachers who do this supplementary work receive 7fr. 50cs. a day in addition to their salary. During the vacation the cantines scolaires continue".

[page 194]


Food is provided at the Ecole Maternelle for those children whose parents cannot or will not provide dinners at home. About one third of the children at the Ecole Maternelle stay, and the rest go home. In October, 1906, out of 34,912 children attending the Ecoles Maternelles in Paris, 10,346 were being fed - 29.6%. The expenses for these schools are not given separately, but the Municipal Council in 1906 gave a sum of 1,000,000 frs. to the Caisses des Ecoles for the cantines scolaires in Paris.

Some children bring 10 centimes for their dinner - some 20 centimes. The sum is variable according to the school and neighbourhood. About a third of the children pay and two-thirds have dinners free. In 1905, the number of portions distributed was:


The list of those who are fed free is kept by the Mayor. No child, except under unusual circumstances, has a free dinner unless both parents are earning less than 4 fr. a day.

Great emphasis is laid on the importance of feeding the children attending the Ecoles Maternelles separately. The food at the central cantines is not suited to their age and digestion. Hence there is a kitchen attached to most of the schools, where the food is carefully prepared.

The children sit on low benches with backs and the food is spread on low tables. The soup is served in little metal pots and each child has its own spoon, napkin, bread and drink. The children are served by femmes de servicewith the Directrice or an assistant to superintend. Not only is stress laid on the physical benefit of good food but on the educational value of manners and refinement with regard to eating.*

Various menus are given in Appendix 34, p. 318, some of which, at 10 centimes a meal, pay their own expenses. But some of the authorities do not approve of so much meat for young children. It has been ascertained that a child under the age of five does not require meat. Mme. Kergomard's sketch of suitable food for children of the Ecole Maternelle is suggestive.

"In the menu we should propose for the Ecoles Maternelles, and above all for the little ones, milk forms a considerable proportion. Rice and milk, potato flour and milk, purée of potatoes and milk, semolina and milk, tapioca and milk, maize flour, oat flour, buck wheat and milk - all these foods are excellent for children who have but recently finished teething, and who are subjected to much too advanced feeding through the ignorance of their parents. Later, we would give eggs cooked in a digestible way for these little people to eat. Dried vegetables, very wholesome if well cooked, should always be reduced to a purée; macaroni might take its place once a week

*Mme. Girard, Inspectrice des Ecoles Maternelles de la Seine, quotes small children drawing the corks of their wine bottles with their teeth.

[page 195]

if the children like it. As for meat, we should only use it to add its special nutritive elements to those of the vegetables, as long as it is neither grilled nor roasted. We would make excellent soup of beef, but only the biggest children should eat boiled beef itself. Lard is useful in preparing lentils, potatoes and haricots, making them more nourishing and tasty, but few children like lard. Soups we should always give with conviction. But we are not contented with soup only at mid-day, we want to see it given in the morning and again at four o'clock, especially in winter. What a boon this would prove to all the little stomachs."

Many of the large towns in France are spending large sums on feeding the young children in the Ecoles Maternelles. Rennes, in 1903, spent 11,000 fr. on feeding the children in their schools, where the average attendance was 3,369.

Marseilles has made all the feeding free at the Ecoles Maternelles. St. Etienne charges 15 centimes and adds wine - 1 litre to fifteen children.


Clothes are supplied to the children of the Ecoles Maternelles by the Caisses des Ecoles in cases of need, and after due investigation. Every Monday morning the Directrice and her assistants inspect the children's clothes, boots, stockings, frocks and underlinen. The parents are earnestly requested to supply warm and suitable clothes, but failing this, necessary garments are supplied by the Society. The number of clothes and their prices are usually put under the same head as those supplied to the primary schools for boys and girls. But in one arrondissement of Paris containing seven Ecoles Maternelles and 1,499 children, the Society gave away in the year 1906, 432 pairs shoes at 8fr. each, 170 frocks at 4fr. 50c. each, 196 Pantalons at 3fr. each, and 237 pinafores at 1fr. 65c. each, costing in all 3,040fr. 05c. The accounts for this year amount to nearly 1,000fr. in excess of this. At Christmas quantities of warm clothes are given away to the children either from this same source or by private chanty. To put the child in sympathy with the environments of the school is one of the main objects of the Ecole Maternelle and this is held to be impossible if the child is ragged, dirty or uncomfortable. An experiment tried at a school where baths have been established is suggestive. It was found to be impossible, after bathing the children, to re-dress them in their dirty, often ragged chemises, or shirts. Application was made to the Inspectress of needlework and she had the necessary articles supplied from the girls' schools, thus giving the children a change of linen, often lacking in very poor homes.

With regard to paper pocket handkerchiefs supplied to children in some schools, these cost one sou a dozen. The system is as yet in its infancy.


The methods of teaching and the occupations of the Ecoles Maternelles are in a somewhat transitional state in France as

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they are in the English Infant schools. It will therefore seem most fair to give the Instructions adopted by the Departmental Council of Primary Education in 1895, the Ministerial circular issued by the Minister of Public Instruction to the Prefects and Inspecteur d'Académie in 1905, and a scheme of lessons taken from a Directrice's note book for June, 1907, showing the work on a practical basis.

The Instructions for 1895 suggest that the teaching should include:

Games and graduated movements accompanied by songs. These should take place either in the hall or outside in the courtyard. Teaching of singing will include songs in unison and songs in two parts; the mistress will always start them with a tuning fork.

Manual work. This will consist of plaiting, weaving, folding, pricking, unravelling little bits of coarse knitting, threading beads, making little buildings of cards, straw, cubes, sand; etc. Sewing and other work of a tiring nature to young children is forbidden.

The first principles of moral education should be given, not so much by means of connected lessons, as by the help of familiar conversation and the recitation of poetry calculated to inspire children with a sense of devotion toward their homes; their country, and their God. These principles should be independent of all religious instruction.

Knowledge of everyday things. This should be taught by means of conversation, giving elementary ideas about clothing, food, man, animals, plants, stones; form and colour; division of time, seasons, cardinal points; France and the principal countries of the world. The teaching should be given with the help of real objects and pictures.

Lessons on Language by means of recitations and stories with the idea of accustoming children to express in simple and correct language what they have seen and heard, of enlarging their vocabulary in proportion to their development, intelligence and needs.

Drawing. The first elements will include combinations of lines by means of little sticks, the reproduction of these on slates and blackboard, with easy designs and the reproduction of familiar objects and simple ornament on slates and paper.

Reading not to be attempted by children under five. The teacher should dwell, not on difficult combinations of letters, but on common words and simple sentences. As soon as possible children should have movable letters by which to learn.

Mme. Kergomard advocates children beginning with their own Christian names and learning letters in this way.

Writing. No instructions, except that no child under five should begin.

Arithmetic should include the formation of numbers from 1 to 10 and 10 to 100 by the help of objects put into the children's hands, such as sticks, marbles, coins, etc. The first four rules of arithmetic up to 100 by means of tangible objects and the

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representation of numbers by figures with simple application of the metric system (metre, litre, etc.). Children should be well practised in mental arithmetic.

Note. All stories and conversation, taken as much as possible from pictures, should be restricted to scenes of infant life and should inculcate love of country. Intellectual and manual lessons should be taken alternately, each should last 20 minutes. They should always be divided by songs, free movements, marching or gymnastics.

The Method of carrying out these Instructions is given in every copy of the Rules supplied to Directrices of Ecoles Maternelles. "This process of education should be conducted in the spirit of an intelligent and devoted mother. As it is not proposed, in the Ecoles Maternelles, to form or exercise any one set of faculties to the detriment of others, but to develop all harmoniously together, there is no need to follow punctiliously any of the special methods which must exist in a system at once exclusive and artificial. On the contrary, it will be the best plan to take the simplest suggestions out of each part, and so to form by the help of these various elements a course of instruction and education which will respond to the needs of a little child and bring all its faculties into play. The work should be as varied as possible, the object lessons - conversation, singing, first attempts at drawing, reading, reckoning and recitation - should all be separated by physical exercises, games of all sorts and gymnastic movements. The method should be essentially natural and familiar, always alive to modern progress, capable of improvement and reform."

The following shows a more detailed programme for Sections 1 and 2. The first includes the Classes Enfantines when annexed to the Ecole Maternelle, admitting the child up to the age of seven.


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Two years ago the Minister of Public Instruction addressed an important ministerial circular to the Prefects and Inspectors of the Académies of France relating to the Ecoles Maternelles. It was inspired entirely by the reports of the Women Inspectors, who drew attention to the serious mistakes that were being made with regard to infant education. They urged strongly that the Ecoles Maternelles should be neither nurseries nor elementary schools, but merely centres where young children could be prepared for school. The circular draws attention to the various causes which have contributed to this evil. A few of the most important are these.

(1) The programme is too ambitious and loses sight of the physiological and intellectual development of childhood. It presupposes an amount of culture and knowledge that few teachers possess. Therefore each teacher is invited to prepare a daily time-table better adapted to the age, character and development of the children as well as to their local environment. There must be no sedentary work. No two intellectual lessons must be consecutive; both manual and intellectual work must be separated by 15 minutes of free movement.

(2) Regarding the sections. In most schools there are three sections (children from two to three, from three to five, and from five to seven years of age), and only two assistants, hence the youngest children are left with the femme de service, who may or may not have notions of hygiene and cleanliness. The other two sections, instead of working in parallel sections including children of the same age, are for the most part mixed, this arrangement being more convenient for teachers. The rule of sections should be rigidly kept.

(3) The inspection of Ecoles Maternelles is almost exclusively performed by men. These are too apt to judge the school by its progress in reading, writing and arithmetic, attaching quite a secondary importance to cleanliness, manners at table and general behaviour at games, etc. They forget that the best school is that where clean habits are usual and where happiness and health, animation and life go with order, work and regularity.

(4) Parents and teachers are responsible for the mistakes committed by the Ecole Maternelle. The first, through ignorance, think they are right in insisting that their children shall learn to read and write before they can speak properly or understand what is said to them. The head masters and mistresses of Primary schools, not recognising the danger of premature intellectual effort and little desirous themselves to teach the three Rs, depreciate the efforts of the Directrices of the Ecoles Maternelles in those cases where the children sent up cannot read or write. It is important to remind Primary Inspectors to keep to the spirit rather than to the letter of the law as regards the Ecole Maternelle.

In compliance with these new regulations the Directrices now make their own time-tables. Here are the notes of two days' work in both sections by Mme. Leroy for June, 1907.

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Lastly, to sum up from the words of Mmes. les Inspectrices des Ecoles Maternelles. The child in a very poor family is a little disinherited being to whom the Ecole Maternelle owes life under happier conditions, conditions under which rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes, and merry laughter are possible. The child is cold and hungry, it is poorly clad and dirty, it is unhappy and unloved. The Ecole Maternelle owes it food and warmth, cleanliness and tidy clothes, joy and tenderness. Children should always live in an atmosphere of joy - a child ought to laugh as a bird ought to sing. If the child develops naturally it is happy, for it carries within it a source of joy spontaneously evolved. It should be the object of the Ecole Maternelle to render infant life happy and joyful, and free.

This object cannot be achieved without health. The French have translated Herbert Spencer's words: "La premiere condition du succès dans le monde, c'est d'être un bon animal, et la première condition de la prospérité nationale, c' est que la nation soit formée de bons animaux."


The question of medical inspection of Ecoles Maternelles is still under discussion in France. No medical inspector can enter a school without leave from the Prefect. In 1883 about 126 medical inspectors were appointed to inspect the children of the national schools twice a month, at a salary of 800 francs

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each a year, paid by the municipal councils. Their instructions were to report on the general condition of the children, and to see that the rules of hygiene were observed.

The following clause occurs in a Ministerial Circular of 1905, addressed by the Minister of Public Instruction to the Prefects and Inspecteurs d'Académie to the Ecoles Maternelles:

"It is an imperative duty for the Administration to nominate a medical inspector and to see that he rigorously fulfils the duties devolving on him. An Ecole Maternelle badly administered may become a source of danger with regard to infection and infantile maladies. He must see to the school lavatories, etc., satisfy himself that the desks are suitable to the size of the children, arrange the cantine menus to the age of the children, procure the necessary disinfectants for cleaning the school. At times when anxiety with regard to public health and questions of general hygiene are taking a foremost place in the public mind, I attach the very first importance to the suggestions contained in this circular."

Every Ecole Maternelle has its own medicine chest (supplied at the cost of 53 francs), containing, among other things, bandages, arnica, plaster, cotton-wool, etc.

The Caisses des Ecoles, acting on the advice of medical inspectors, dispenses to the delicate children cod liver oil, iron, phosphatine. In 1906-7 one arrondissement spent 1,800 fr. in medicines given to 1,000 children. With regard to medical inspection of Paris schools, it must be remembered that there is a free dispensary for children in every arrondissement, toward the support of which the municipality gives grants varying from 450 fr. to 6,500 fr. Here children from the schools can have baths, hair cut and washed, medical advice with regard to teeth, eyes, ears, etc., while a free distribution of cod liver oil is made to necessitous children in the winter.


This is authoritative by Inspectors (general), Rectors and Inspecteurs d'Académie, Inspectors of Primary Education, Members of the Departmental Council appointed for purposes of inspection (stock, hygiene and premises, not education), and the Mayor and Delegates from the cantons. Concurrently with these authorities for the Ecoles Maternelles are the Inspectrices Générales and the Inspectrices Départementales, nominated by the Minister of Public Instruction. They are under the Inspecteurs d'Académie, they inspect the Ecoles Maternelles both public and private, they direct special inquiries, give advice on the promotion of teachers, etc. There are at present four Inspectrices Générales, five attached to special inspections in the Departement de la Seine, and one Inspectrice primaire (Montpellier). These receive salaries at the same rate as Inspectors.


These are also under Government inspection. Owing to the suppression of religious orders in France, numbers of private

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schools are closing, and statistics are not forthcoming up to date. In the year 1896 there were 3,350 private Ecoles Maternelles in France, containing 283,095 children. Private schools receive no grants from State, Department or Commune. No private school may receive children if there already exists a public school or infant class, without leave from the Departmental Council. The same rules apply with regard to age and sex as in public schools. No one may teach in a private school under the age of 17. Registers must be kept which shall be seen by the Inspecteur d'Académie. Every person wishing to open a private school must notify the same to the Mayor of the Commune enclosing a plan of the premises. Anyone opening a private school without leave is liable to severe penalty. Religious instruction is optional. Most of the Ecoles Maternelles in Paris are conducted by the Sisters of St. Vincent and St. Paul.

The Caisses des Ecoles contribute nothing to the private schools, but there are numerous private subscriptions to provide the children with food and clothing.


The Ecole Maternelle forms part of a group of buildings, including boys' and girls' elementary schools, though it is entirely separate from them. The name is usually engraved on the street door, and a flag invariably flies over the building. This includes an entrance hall where the parents can wait, leading into the large hall. This should be 4 m. high and allow 0m. 80 (surface) for each child; the floors are boarded, the walls distempered a plain colour. It is warmed by a stove of metal or terra cotta surrounded by an iron railing. At one end of the hall is the children's lavatory. This consists of a number of low basins in two rows or a circle, in the proportion of one basin to every ten children. Soap and towels are provided. The hall is also fitted with cupboards containing clothing for the children; there are shelves for their baskets, and pegs for their clothes; also low tables and benches.

There are several class-rooms fitted with desks. In one of the schools visited by me three class-rooms were fitted with 72, 56 and 48 desks respectively. Each class-room is also fitted with a cupboard where all the materials are kept. There is also a mistress' desk and a blackboard.

Nearly every school has its little kitchen to cook the children's dinners; it is fitted with a gas stove. There is also a small office fitted with desk and drawers for the Directrice. Here is usually a great display of articles made by the children.

Outside is a courtyard planted with young chestnut trees. It is mostly gravelled, and plentifully supplied with low benches for the children. The size is calculated at three metres per child; never less than 150 metres altogether. In one corner of the courtyard, screened off by trees and connected with the main building by a covered way, are the cabinets. These are divided into compartments, one to every 15 children.

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The cost of building these is included in the estimate for the whole groups of buildings, but the current expenses are given in the budget of the Ville de Paris. In the year 1904 these were -

Staff2,697,708 fr.
Material209,736 fr.
Divers expenses341,851 fr.
Total expenses Ecoles Maternelles3,249,295 fr.

In the same year the number of public Ecoles Maternelles in Paris was 166, containing 47,814 children.


The age of admission for the Ecole Maternelle is 3 to 6, whereas in the Infants' School it is 3 to 5, optional and free. The classes enfantines receive children up to 7 as do the Infants' Schools in England. In many country schools children are not admitted at all till the age of live.

In the Ecoles Maternelles the children are fed and to some extent clothed. In the Infants' School, the child is neither fed nor clothed, except where relief committees are at work, and thus the proportions are very small. In the Ecole Maternelle the child can stay all day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In the Infants' School the child must not arrive till 9 a.m., it must leave the school between 12 and 2 and it goes home at 4 p.m. (With a mother at work, all day, this is hopeless from an hygienic point of view.) In the Ecole Maternelle medicines are dispensed free. In the Infants' School there is no arrangement for this. In the Ecole Maternelle an untrained but respectable servant is always on the spot to look after the children at lavatories, etc. In the Infants' Schools children from 3 to 5 are left to themselves or put under the charge of an older child. In the Ecole Maternelle provision is made for the children on their weekly holiday, Thursday, and if necessary during the summer holidays. In the Infants' Schools there is neither provision, though a few holiday schools now exist in London.

The Ecole Maternelle is less of a school than the Infants' Departments, there is less discipline, less sitting in desks, the children walk naturally rather than march, they stand in groups rather than in lines, and sing as they enter and leave the classroom. Their games are more varied, there is more playing of ball in class-room or courtyard, there are more toys - horses, carts, spades, buckets.

Indeed Mme. Kergomard, Inspectrice Générale des Ecoles Maternelles, would like to see each child bring its own toy to school in the morning. The children spend a longer time in the playground, which they have entirely to themselves. I saw teachers sitting in the playground with needlework while the children played, school being slack in July with many away in the country.

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Their manual work consists largely in making artificial flowers, unravelling (abolished by the late School Board for English children), plaiting paper and straw, cotton embroidery in perforated card, threading beads, making rag dolls, paper envelopes, woolly balls, etc. Every school has a cupboard of infant productions to show, of commendable variety.

On the other hand the French school buildings cannot compare with those constructed for the infants in England. The halls here are brighter and airier, the ventilation is better, the pictures on the walls are prettier. Our children march, sing and dance to the music of a piano, unknown in Paris schools, which is infinitely more enspiriting than a tuning fork. The fresh flowers which adorn our schools are never seen in a Paris school, neither are the many pots of growing seeds and bulbs or the bowls of fish, visible in the schools. Another feature adding to the gloom of the Ecole Maternelle is the black dress invariably worn by the Directrice. Her assistants are also in black and many of the children wear black pinafores. Lastly one regrettable blemish still remains in our infants schools which has long since vanished from the Ecole Maternelle, if indeed it ever existed, corporal punishment. There is no doubt it is high time this was absolutely forbidden for children aged from three to seven.


It is evident that two such institutions for the care of young children under compulsory school age, such as the crèches and Ecoles Maternelles, originating from different sources and managed by different administrations must have a few obvious defects. This difference in origin and administration constitutes in itself a grave disadvantage, and one that is readily acknowledged by the authorities dealing with both institutions.

Undoubtedly both crèche and Ecole Maternelle should be under the same roof.

Again, though both receive municipal grants, there is no connection between the two. Organisation, management, food, rules, the training of directrices, salaries, duties, occupations are entirely different; hence needless suffering for a child passing from one to the other.

The crèche is emphatically a nursery, from which children are often transferred at the age of two. From being washed, clothed, fed, and attended by a trained attendant with but twelve children to look after, it is taken to the Ecole Maternelle where the teacher has forty children at least to attend to, and where individual attention is practically impossible. It has to sit on a hard bench longer than is good for a child of two, and it gets no sleep in the daytime.

The training of teachers for the Ecoles Maternelles is quite unsuited to the demand of these schools, viz., the care of children from two to six.

Again, much waste of opportunity is suggested. Owing to the different administrations It is impossible for girls in the upper

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standards of the elementary schools to gain that experience in the management of babies that seems so necessary in these days of threatened physical deterioration. The lectures given by Mme. Léon Levy in the crèche at Montluçon are suggestive.


Lastly in the event of any provision by way of Day Nurseries being made for the young children under compulsory school age in England (and the present waste of child life as shown by the tables of infant mortality is lamentable) the following points may be borne in mind:

The Day Nurseries in the large towns should receive the children of working mothers as well as ignorant and indifferent mothers from the age of fifteen days to five years.

Payment should be made by these mothers.

The Day Nursery should be part of the Infants' School and under the same head. It should consist of two sections, the first from fifteen days to three years under a trained nurse, the second from three to five under a teacher who shall have had three months' training in a children's hospital.

The whole Infants' School should be visited by lady doctors and be under Government inspection.

Each Day Nursery should be under a committee of ladies as managers, only with responsible duties.

The girls from the upper standards of the elementary schools should receive some training in the management of young children. This might be combined with the Housewifery course.

Girls of the elementary schools should learn to make garments for crèche use, and should do some of the washing and cooking.

Private Day Nurseries should be encouraged on the same lines in which the girls attending the Non-Provided Schools might practise. They also should be under Government inspection, preferably by women.


September, 1907.

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(For the Table of Contents of this part of the Report, see page 7.)




The institutions which exist in Germany for the care of children under the compulsory school age are of three kinds, Krippen or crèches, Kleinkinderbewahranstalten (or Kleinkinderschulen or Warteschulen), and Kindergartens. The Krippen, as a rule, form a distinct class by themselves, being concerned only with very young children up to three years of age, though in some cases older children are admitted; but the Bewahranstalten and the Kindergartens are not always to be distinguished from one another. Both receive children between the ages of two and a half or three and six years. The Bewahranstalt exists primarily for social reasons, its object being to afford a refuge for children whose mothers are at work; it is, therefore, open from early morning till evening, and provides the children attending it with a. mid-day meal. The primary object of the Kindergarten, on the other hand, is education according to Froebel's principles, for which purpose it meets for a couple of hours, morning and afternoon. But in practice no hard and fast line can be drawn between the two classes of institutions. The Kindergarten is often also a Bewahranstalt, remaining open all day, and providing dinner, while the Bewahranstalt, especially when it is run on non-sectarian lines, is frequently a Kindergarten in Froebel's sense of the word. In towns where the distinction between the two institutions remains clearly defined, the poorer children naturally attend the Bewahranstalt, and the wealthier ones the Kindergarten. The tendency to-day, on the whole, is rather to level the distinction between the two classes of institution, though there remains a certain rivalry between them. The confusion between the two classes is shown by the Table given in Appendix 37, where it has been found impossible to distinguish between Kindergartens and Bewahranstalten.

The Kinderbewahranstalt

Historically, the Kinderbewahranstalt is the oldest institution. The first institution of this kind was founded in 1779 by Johann Friedrich Oberlin, (1740-1826), the well-known

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Protestant pastor, in the village of Waldbach in Alsace. It was opened in connection with a "Knitting School" for older children, also founded by Oberlin, where the children were taught sewing and where stories were told and object lessons given on maps of the district, and coloured pictures of subjects taken from Biblical and natural history. The idea of combining with this school a refuge for small children whose mothers were occupied in the fields is due really to Oberlin's maidservant Louise Scheppler, under whose charge the first Kinderbewahranstalt was opened; she carried on the work with single-hearted devotion till her death in 1887. The experiment excited much interest, and in 1802 the Princess Pauline von Lippe-Detmold started a similar institution in Detmold, in which children up to four years of age were received from June till October, when the mothers were at work in the fields. But the chief impetus to the movement in Germany was given by the similar movement for the foundation of infant schools in England in the early years of the 19th century. Robert Owen's experiment at New Lanark in 1800 and the proceedings of the Infant School Society aroused much attention in Germany, and the first twenty years of the century saw the foundation of Bewahranstalten in all parts of the country. In every case they were started and maintained by private persons, by religious philanthropic societies both Catholic and Protestant, such as the Oberlin Societies founded in memory of Oberlin himself and to carry on his work, or by various other charitable agencies, especially the many women's Societies (Frauenvereine), which play so large a part in German philanthropic life. Many of these institutions have a distinctly religious aim, as was the case with the original one started by Oberlin, and in places where the religious feeling is strong this has led to a certain rivalry between Catholics and Protestants in the founding of such institutions. In Germany, as in this country, it was, however, the change in industrial conditions, and the consequent employment of women away from the home, which first opened the eyes of the benevolent public to the need of making some provision for the children of such women.

The Kindergarten

The early history of the Kindergarten is of course connected with the life of Friedrich Froebel (1782--1852), its creator. Froebel, though he was not the first to point out the importance of the early years of a child's life from an educational point of view, for here Comenius and Pestalozzi, at least, had anticipated him, was the first to draw up a system of education through the senses, based on organised play, for children up to six years of age; he was the first also to declare that such education could not be carried out exclusively by the mother.

The history of the development of the Kindergarten in detail has yet to be written, and the materials for it lie buried in the annual reports of many societies. The first institution of the kind was opened by Froebel himself in 1837, at Blankenburg in Thüringen; and three years later he founded

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the first training college for Kindergarten teachers. The movement soon spread, some sixteen or eighteen other Kindergartens being opened in Froebel's lifetime. The idea of the Kindergarten, however, was not everywhere kindly received. In 1851 the Prussian Ministry actually forbade Kindergartens to be founded in Prussia, on the ground that Froebel's teaching was socialistic and atheistic. The order was revoked in 1861, and it is supposed that it arose from some confusion of Froebel with a democrat of the same name; but it is the case that the Kindergarten was, and to some extent is, looked upon with suspicion in certain quarters, as wanting in a definite Christian atmosphere.* In Austria, on the other hand, the Kindergarten found fruitful soil, and by an order of the Ministry of Education in 1872, it was recognised as part of the educational system, under the charge of the local education authorities.

The Kindergarten as Froebel planned it was to supplement and widen home training, and not to be a substitute for it, and therefore applied to children of all classes. In practice, however, in Germany, Kindergartens exist chiefly for the poorer children, and the reasons which have led to the founding of them have been rather social than educational; i.e., the primary aim has been to afford shelter for children whose parents are at work. Only in Munich can the Kindergarten be said at present to form part of the system of public elementary education, for the public infant schools that exist in Cologne and Düsseldorf appear to be far more of the nature of Bewahranstalten, and are not carried out on Froebel's lines. The development of the Kindergarten on educational grounds seems to belong rather to America† than to Germany. The German Kindergartens were founded by private Societies existing for that purpose, and there are no general statistics to be had as to the total number of Kindergartens and the number of children provided for in this way in Germany as a whole.

The Krippe or Crèche

The idea of the Krippe or Crèche came to Germany from France. The first German one was opened in connection with a Bewahranstalt at Dresden in 1851; but two years before one had been started at Breitenfeld, near Vienna. Krippen now exist in most of the German towns. They are supported by private Societies, generally with help from the Municipal Authorities, and are run on much the same lines as our own day nurseries. (For further particulars as to the Crèche system in Germany and Switzerland, see page 242.)


Kindergartens and Kleinkinderbewahranstalten in Germany to-day are still maintained, generally speaking, by the various private societies that founded them, and the Kindergarten does not form part of the recognised system of public elementary education.

*See the articles on Kleinkinderschulen in Schmid's Encyclopädie des gesammten Erziehungs-u Unterrichtswesens, 2nd edition, Gotha. 1881.

†See "The Kindergarten", by Laura Fisher (Report of the United States Commissioner of Education for 1903, vol. i., chapter xvi.), Washington, Government Printing Office, 1905.

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Institutions of this kind, however, entirely supported by Municipal Authorities, exist in Cologne and Düsseldorf, where they have been established for many years, in Frankfort, where there are two and in Munich, where a number of Kindergartens were taken over by the town from a private Society in the beginning of 1907. Municipal grants for such institutions are, however, the rule in almost every town, and a varying amount of Municipal supervision and inspection is exercised in most towns. It is generally the case that permission must be had from the town authorities before a Kindergarten or a Bewahranstalt can be established, and in many towns, a register of all institutions for children between the ages of three and six is kept by one of the Town School Inspectors; the extent of the information required, however, and the nature of the inspection carried out appear to depend very much upon the interest taken by the educational officials in the institutions in question. In any case each town has its own policy in regard to the matter. Municipal grants to such institutions appear to be generally on the increase, but there does not seem any likelihood at present of Kindergartens being adopted generally as part of the educational system. Against the example of Munich must be set the fact that in certain North German towns the opinion was definitely expressed that the present policy is to leave the management of these institutions in private hands, and not to increase the number of public ones even where they exist. The reason urged for this is generally the expense that public institutions would involve, but some authorities (at least in Prussia) believe that institutions of this nature thrive better under the freedom of private management. It should be added that most private Societies complain of lack of funds. The management is vested, as a rule, in a committee, and expenses are met by subscriptions and to a certain extent by fees. These last are very small, ranging from about 3d. to 6d. weekly. There are also in most towns a few private fee-paying Kindergartens for the children of well-to-do parents. Kindergartens are, as a rule, unsectarian.


Most Kleinkinderbewahranstalten are conducted by Sisters or Deaconesses, belonging to the different religious orders, Catholic or Protestant. These nearly all receive a certain amount of training in the care and management of small children in a Convent or a Deaconesses' Institution (Mutterhaus). The Deaconess generally lodges in the Bewahranstalt, and a small salary (about 18) is paid yearly to the Mutterhaus with which she is connected, and which provides for her in sickness and old age. Some of the newer unsectarian Kleinkinderbewahranstalten are, however, under the charge of trained Kindergarten teachers.

All Kindergartens proper are conducted by specially trained teachers (Kindergärtnerinnen), and Kindergarten training colleges exist in a large number of German towns.* They form

*See Die deutsche Frau im Beruf (Handbuch der Frauenbewegung Parts iv., p. :347, and v., p, 190, W. Moeser, Berlin, 1902 and 1906) where lists of such institutions, including a few private colleges, are given.

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indeed an integral part of Froebel's scheme, which included the training of women for the care and education of small children, and especially for motherhood. These colleges are for the most part under private management, though municipal training courses for Kindergarten teachers are held in some places, e.g., Leipzig and Frankfort. Generally speaking, two classes of Kindergärtnerinnen are provided for in these institutions.

(a) Regular Kindergarten teachers for a Kindergarten proper. Candidates for this course must have attended a Girls' Higher School, and must generally be over sixteen. The course lasts from one to two or two-and-a-half years, and includes, among other subjects, German, the theory and practice of education, natural history, geometry, hygiene, singing, gymnastics, the study of Froebel's occupations, children's games and stories, as well as actual practice in a Kindergarten. The average fee is about 6 a year (without board), though some colleges are dearer, and some, with very short courses, cheaper.

(b) Kinderpflegerinnen (Nursery Governesses, or superior nursery maids). This course is open to girls leaving the elementary schools, and lasts from six months to two years. It aims at providing governesses for the home for very young children, or well-trained nurses, and includes, besides further study in elementary school subjects, instruction and practice in the care of children, and in house work. A usual charge is 1.16 (36M.) for the course.

Most institutions undertake to find situations for their students, and for both classes of student there is a large and growing demand. The reports of many training colleges state that they are unable to supply nearly all the situations offered.


The average salary of a Kindergarten teacher of the first class ranges from 35 to 60 yearly (700M. to 1200M.), and of a Kinderpflegerinnen, from about 6 to 30 yearly (120M. to (600M.), with board and lodging.* (Women elementary school teachers in Prussia receive, on an average, an initial salary of from 38 to 54 (760M. to 1080M.), together with an allowance for lodging, which varies from 5 to 15. This salary rises to a maximum of from 84 to 116 (1680M. to 2320M.), inclusive of lodging allowance.†

In the matter of an old age pension Kindergarten teachers are at a great disadvantage, and for this reason they would welcome a closer connection between the Kindergarten and the public educational system. Their salary is in most cases too small to do more than meet the daily expenses of life, and they can therefore rarely afford to save. It is true that compulsory "old age and invalidity insurance" (Reichs-Alter-und Invaliditäts-Versicherung), has been extended to teachers,

*Die deutsche Frau im Beruf, Part iv., p. 331.

Die deutsche Frau im Beruf Part iv., p. 323.

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other than public school teachers, but the pension is small (on an average about 10 (200M.) a year), and only begins after the age of 70, whereas it is stated that Kindergarten teachers find their work exhausting, and lose the vigour and elasticity necessary for it soon after 55. Some Societies have private funds for supplying pensions to their teachers, and there are other agencies which to some extent meet the necessities of the case. The "Allgemeine deutsche Pensions-Anstalt für Lehrerinnen und Erzieherinnen", for instance, pays pensions to over 700 female teachers.* But the supply of retiring allowances generally is very insufficient. Munich, Cologne, and Düsseldorf are apparently the only German cities where the Kindergarten teachers are regularly entitled to a pension.


The accommodation provided for Kindergartens and Bewahranstalten varies very much in different towns, and indeed in the same town. Kindergartens are often accommodated in the elementary schools, where rooms and the use of the playground are placed at their disposal by the education authorities. In Munich the authorities have gone further, and a separate building with a separate playground is attached to many of the schools for the purpose of a Kindergarten. The newest and most admirable Kindergarten buildings are, however, to be found in Frankfort. In some towns the newer Bewahranstalten are also excellently housed in buildings specially erected; otherwise they are to be found very variously lodged, for the most part in private houses adapted to the purpose. In all cases the equipment is simple, consisting of low tables with benches, or, in the newer buildings, of little chairs and low tables, with generally a blackboard and a piano. The usual arrangement is to have two rooms, one large one for games and a smaller one for occupations. A garden is an almost invariable feature of all classes of institutions.



The same three classes of institutions for young children exist in German-speaking Switzerland as in Germany, and here also the history and development of these institutions have been different in different places. In Switzerland, however, the Kindergarten is more a recognised feature of elementary education than in Germany, inasmuch as the larger Swiss towns have a system of free public Kindergartens for children between four and six, though attendance at these is not compulsory. They are accommodated as a rule in the schools. In these towns, more-

*Die deutsche Frau im Beruf, Part iv., p. 332.

†1. Much of the following information is taken from the pamphlet Hebung der Kleinkinderbewahranstalten: (Ein weiterer Beitrag zur Totalrevision der Glarnerischen Schulgesetzgebung), C. Auer, Sekundarlehrer Swanden (Buchdruckerei Glarner Nachrichten), 1907.

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over, private institutions of this kind are being more and more transferred to the public authorities. In the smaller towns and villages, however, the institutions which receive young children are more of the nature of Bewahranstalten, and are housed and conducted in various ways. Generally they seem to be supported by private societies, with assistance from the local authorities, but in some cases they are entirely under the charge of the latter.

In Switzerland, as in Germany, the materials for the history of these institutions is scanty and scattered.

Basel, which has to-day the most elaborately organised system of Kinderanstalten generally, appears to have been one of the first towns to open such institutions. In the famine year of 1817 charitable Women's Societies in that town started infant schools for children whose parents were unable to look after them. In 1843 the Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft took up and supported institutions of this kind, and in 1875 a Society for founding Kindergartens was established. The first public Kindergartens in Basel were opened in 1895, and in the nine years from 1898 to 1907 the public Kindergartens had increased by 72, while the private institutions had decreased by 24. In Zurich the first private Kindergarten was opened in 1872; in 1895 existing Kindergartens were taken over by the town, and their number was speedily increased. In 1898, for instance, there were 7 Kindergartens with 290 children; in 1899, 27 with 1026 children; and to-day 51 with 1000-1600 children. The private institutions which still exist are rather Bewahranstalten than Kindergartens. Training courses for Kindergarten teachers are held in the Girls' Higher Schools in Basel and Zurich. A Swiss Kindergarten Society, founded in 1881, does useful work by holding yearly meetings, at which subjects hearing on the work of the Kindergarten are discussed. It has at the present time some 400 members.


In French Switzerland the Infant Schools (Ecoles enfantines) generally speaking form a recognised part of public elementary education. An account of the regulations on the subject for the Canton of Geneva may be given as an example, though all French Cantons may not be so advanced. In Vaud, Neuchatel and Fribourg the organisation appears to be much on the same lines as in Geneva; in Valais the Froebel system is not employed.

Article 25 of the Lois sur L'Instruction Publique (1896) of the Republic and Canton of Geneva recognises the écoles enfantines as the lowest stage of primary education. The following extracts give the regulations for such schools.

"Article 26: The infant schools are organised in such a manner as to forward the bodily and intellectual development of the child, and to serve as a preparation for the primary school. They comprise:

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a lower division for children from three to six years of age, and an upper division for children from six to seven.

Article 27. In both divisions the instruction consists chiefly of object lessons, manual occupations, games, songs and moral talks."

Attendance at these schools, which are for both sexes, is free, but not compulsory before the age of six. Further regulations are laid down in the Règlernent des Ecoles Enfantines. There it is stated among other things that the instruction given is regulated according to a plan of lessons drawn up by the Department, to which the mistresses are bound to conform. The duty of those mistresses is "to work at the physical, intellectual, and moral education of the children committed to their charge. They ought to take care to inculcate good principles into them, to teach them good habits, proper manners and correct speech. They are bound to prepare their lessons in such a way that their teaching may be easily understood, attractive, and well within the comprehension of their pupils. They must carefully abstain from anything of a sectarian nature". They are also instructed to see that the children come to school clean, tidy and in good health. (See Appendix 40 (4) and Appendix 41.)

Mistresses for the infant schools are appointed for Geneva by the Conseil Administratif, and for the other communes by the Conseil Municipal. The salary of a mistress begins at 800 francs, with an annual increment of 25 francs for ten years; all assistant mistress gets 600 francs. There is an Insurance Fund for the mistresses of infant schools, to which each mistress must subscribe; the annual subscription must not be less than 40 francs. The State pays in annually 50 francs for each member not already pensioned.

The infant schools are also under the general charge of an inspectress, who receives an annual salary of 2,300 francs. Her duties are to supervise the instruction given, and see that it conforms to the regulations, to instruct teachers in training and those newly appointed, to look after the hygienic conditions of the school buildings and to distribute school material.

It will be seen that the aim and the methods of the écoles enfantines are in many respects different from those of the Kindergartens in German Switzerland. In the écoles enfantines the time-table is much more strictly regulated, and the work directly prepares for the work of the primary school. The ideal of educational reformers in German Switzerland is in some ways altogether opposed to the French system. What they aim at is the establishment everywhere of free public Kindergartens where children shall be trained generally on Froebel's lines, but without any definite formal instruction; these institutions are to be altogether separate from the schools, if possible in a separate building, and are only to prepare for school work indirectly in the widest sense, by the general training given to the child's faculties.

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(1) BERLIN.*

There are no institutions for children under school age directly maintained by the Municipality in Berlin, but the city supervises and aids private institutions. Certain difficulties in regard to the development of the elementary school system in Berlin, and also in the matter of continuation schools, have prevented the authorities from as yet paying so much attention as elsewhere to the question of the care of children under school age. A committee has, however, been appointed to bring the Kindergarten into closer connection with the public school system, and matters will be improved in four or five years.

In 1907 the Municipality contributed 300 (6,000 marks) to the Berlin Froebel-Verein, in aid of its Volkskindergärten; 425 (8,500 marks) to the Verein für Volkskindergärten, and 250 (5,000 marks) to the Verein zur Beförderung der Kleinkinderbewahranstalten.


There are some 16 or17 Kindergartens in Berlin supported by private Societies, including one for children defective in speech and hearing, besides 18 private Kindergartens. The chief societies supporting Kindergartens are:

(1) Berliner Verein für Volkserzichung (Pestalozzi-Froebel-haus) founded 1873, supporting four Kindergartens with 350 children.

(2) Berliner Froebel-Verein, founded 1859, supporting six Kindergartens (three for rich and three for poor children) with 340 children.

(3) Verein für Volkskindergärten in Berlin, founded 1863, supporting six Kindergartens. The number of children in attendance in 1905, when there were only five institutions, was 284.


The fees in the above institutions seem to range from 15pf. to 1 mark monthly (excepting, of course, in the Kindergartens for the rich), with reductions and free places; dinner where provided is charged for at the rate of 1d. a day. In the majority of cases the Kindergartens seem to remain open all day till as late as 7 p.m. The holidays are the same as the school holidays, except that in the summer many of the Kindergartens have either shorter holidays or do not close. The salary of a head teacher is from 4 to 5 monthly; of an assistant 2 15s. monthly.

*The towns marked with an asterisk were visited by Mr. Darlington, and the accounts given in these cases are taken from his notes and from material collected by him. See footnote on page 40.

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Training Courses for Kindergarten Teachers

These are held in Berlin by:

(1) The Berliner Verein für Volkserzichung (Pestalozzi-Froebel-haus I. This is a well-known training college for Kindergarten teachers, housed in a large and imposing building. The course for Kindergarten teachers lasts from one to two years. The candidate must be 16 years of age, and have attended a Girls' Higher School. The fee for Germans is 2 1Os. (50M.) quarterly, and for foreigners 3 17s. 6d. (77M. 50) quarterly. There is also a course for training Kinderpflegerinnen, lasting from one to two years, to which girls from the elementary schools over 14 are admitted. In 1906 there were 184 students in the first course and 30 in the second. There is a boarding-house (Viktoria-Heim) in connection with the college, where students can be lodged and boarded at the rate of 18 (360M.) a session. (For further particulars, see Appendix 42 (1)).

(2) The Berliner Froebel-Verein. This Society also trains Kindergärtnerinnen and Kinderpflegerinnen. The first course lasts a year and costs 1 17s. 6d. (37M. 50) quarterly, with an entrance fee of 5s., which goes to form a fund for free places for poor students. The second course (school for nursery maids) also lasts a year and costs 3s. a month, with an additional 6s. a year for material, and 1s, entrance fee. In this course during the first six months the mornings are spent in a Kindergarten, and during the second six months in a family where the student takes part in the domestic work of the house and the care of the children under the guidance of the mistress. In the afternoons from three o'clock instruction is given in German, Arithmetic; Froebel's occupations, education, nature-knowledge, sewing, etc. Thirty-nine girls attended this course in 1906 (see Appendix 42 (2)).

Other training institutions are the Froebelsche Kindergärtnerinnen - Bildungsanstalt der Hamburger Vorstadt (six months' course) and the Berliner Froebel-Schule (three to four months' course). The Oberlin-Seminar trains Protestant (evangelisch) infant teachers, in from one to one and a-half years, at a cost of 4 10s. (90M.) yearly, with another 1 for books. Students are not bound to follow a deaconess's calling.


In 1905 there were in Berlin 19 Kleinkinderbewahranstalten under the Verein zur Beförderung der Kleinkinderbewahranstalten (2179 children); 5 under the Gossner Verein (827 children); 14 private institutions (1992 children); and 19 which seem to be religious in character (811 children), The total number of children provided for in this way was thus 5809. The distinction between these institutions and the Kindergartens rests not in the matter of hours, which seem

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to be often the same, but in the fact that Froebel's methods are more used in the one than in the other. There appears however, to be much confusion in the classification of the two kinds of institutions.



There are 11 Kindergartens in Breslau under the Kindergarten-Verein, founded in 1861. One of these is for children who are backward in speaking. It meets in the afternoons four times a week from 3 to 5. In the other Kindergartens children are received between the ages of 3 and 6, and pay a monthly fee of 2s., with an entrance fee of 1s. and an additional charge of 3d. monthly for material, and of 1s. 6d. in October and January for fuel (Heizgeld). There are a certain number of free places, and the usual reductions are made for brothers and sisters. All these Kindergartens are open in the morning only, from 8 to 12, or from 9 to 12.30 according to the season, and they are all under the supervision of an inspectress appointed by the Society. In 1906 the Verein received 125 from the town.

Training Course for Kindergarten Teachers

The Kindergarten-Verein also conducts training courses for Kindergärtnerinnen and Kinderpflegerinnen. The former course was attended in 1906-7 by 53 girls. It lasts a year or a year and a-half, and costs 6 yearly. The latter course lasts from 6 months to a year, and costs 1 each half-year. It was attended in 1896-7 by 65 girls.

The Frauenbildungsverein zur Förderung der Erwerbsfähigkeit also trains Kindergärtnerinnen and Kinderpflegerinnen.


The Breslau Directory for 1907 gives a list of some 30 Bewahranstalten. Of these 13 are Catholic and one unsectarian; the rest appear to be Protestant. The usual charge is 6d. a month, with free places, and in some cases free soup at mid-day. The Catholic institutions are poorer than the Protestant, owing to the constant flow of poor Catholics from Poland.



Public Kindergartens directly maintained by the Municipal Authorities have been in existence in Cologne for some thirty years. They are generally accommodated in a school, where two rooms are set apart for them. There are nine such Kindergartens at present in Cologne, attended in 1905 by 561 children. The fees charged are 6d. weekly (50 pf), but there are a few free places. Except in two Kindergartens no meals are given.

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The exceptions are situated in the neighbourhood of factories where women are employed, and in these cases dinner, and milk and bread in the afternoon are supplied at a charge of 1d. (10 pf.) a week. The hours are from 8 to 12 and from 2 to 4, and the age of admission from 2½ to 3 years. About sixty children are allowed for one teacher and one assistant. Salaries for teachers begin at 45 (900 M.) yearly, and rise to 75 (1,500 M.); assistants receive 36 (720 M.). A pension of half the salary is allowed after 10 years' service with an annual increase of 1.

The total expenditure by the Municipality on the nine schools in 1905 was 993 (19,866 M.). The amount received in school fees was 288 (5754 M.), an average of about 10s. per child per year. The total cost per child per year was 35s.; the actual cost to the city (deducting money received from fees) was 705 (14112 M.) or roughly 25s. per child per year.

A course of training for Kindergarten teachers is held in connection with the Municipal Kindergartens.


There are a large number of private Kindergartens and Kinderbewahranstalten in Cologne, under different committees. A list of charitable institutions in this city, published privately in 1905, gives in all 35 institutions for the care of children between the ages of 2½, and 6. Of these 18 are Catholic, eight Protestant, two Jewish, and seven non-sectarian. Unfortunately no figures are given as to the total number of children accommodated, and no statistics on this point seem to be published by the Municipal Authorities. Generally speaking, these institutions appear to be more of the Bewahranstalt type than Kindergartens proper. They are mostly under the charge of sisters, either Catholic or Protestant, and Froebel's methods are not followed to any great extent.


There are no Municipal institutions in Dresden for children under school age, nor does any Municipal supervision seem to be exercised over the private institutions, though some of these receive Municipal grants. The supply of such institutions is said to be very inadequate to the demand, which is increasing with the growth of industries, and some of the authorities hold that it is the moral (even the legal) duty of the town to supplement the number of existing institutions. This, however, the town authorities generally are most unwilling to do, on account of the expense. According to the Haushaltsplan der Stadt Dresden the amount contributed by the city in 1907 to Societies for the purpose of Kindergartens or Bewahranstalten was 730 (14,600 M.).

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There are some 11 Kindergartens in Dresden supported by Societies. Eight of these are maintained by the Allgemeiner Erziehungsverein, and are attended by about 800 children. The fees charged range from 1.50. M. to 2.25 M. a month. The hours are from 9.0 to 12.0, and in some cases also from 2.0 to 4.0. Teachers must have been trained in a Froebel college, and begin generally with a salary of 40 (800 M.) a year, rising to 70 (1400 M.). In other Kindergartens, where free lodging and sometimes board are given in addition to the salary, the latter ranges from 15 (300 M.) to 24 (480 M.).

There are also eight private Kindergartens with from 10 to 34 children in each, and fees ranging from 3s. to 5s. monthly.

Training Course for Kindergarten Teachers

Courses of training for Kindergärtnerinnen and Kinderpflegerinnen are conducted in the Froebelstiftung, under the Allgemeiner Erziehungsverein. In each case the course lasts a year, and the examination at the end is conducted by a Government representative, generally one of the District School Inspectors. The fees for tuition are respectively 5. and 1 4s. (100 M. and 24 M.) yearly, with as much again for material. There is a hostel for students where board and lodging can be had for 27 (536 M.) yearly.


In 1901 there were altogether 8 Bewahranstalten in Dresden, the majority of them being supported by the Frauenvereine. The number of children in attendance at each institution varied from 60 to 100, and the fee charged is 1d. daily. The person in charge is generally a Deaconess, called the foster-mother (Pflegemutter) and in some cases she is assisted by a Kindergarten teacher. The usual salary for the Deaconess is 18 (360 M.) with free lodging, and 5 at Christmas; for the Kindergärtnerinfrom 11 (216 M.) to 12 (240 M.) also with free lodging and 2 10s. (50 M.) at Christmas. These institutions are open all day from about 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


In Düsseldorf all institutions for children between the ages of three and six have been for over 20 years under Municipal supervision. A register is kept, and each institution is inspected from time to time; new institutions can only be established with the permission of the School authorities. Besides aiding and supervising the 21 existing private institutions the city provides eight Municipal Kindergartens. It is not likely, however, that this number will be increased, or that the policy of direct Municipal management will be extended to private institutions. Rather the tendency in Düsseldorf at present is towards leaving

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the management of all Kleinkinderanstalten in private hands, possibly with increased grants. It is found inconvenient to house the Kindergartens in the ordinary schools, where they are apt to be crowded out, and where their use of the playground at the hours when the other classes are at work leads to complaints as to noise, and the authorities feel that the supervision of institutions of this kind is very suitably left in the hands of the various charitable societies.


The rules laid down for the regulation of infant schools in Düsseldorf expressly forbid any definite school instruction. "The children are to be occupied with playing, singing, exercises in the powers of observation and speech (Anschauungs-und-Sprechübungen), story-telling, and the like. No children are to be admitted who have not completed their third year. The hours are from eight to twelve and two to four with half-holidays on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the usual school holidays.

Training of Teachers

No definite rules are given as to the training of teachers for these institutions, and no course of Kindergarten training is carried out in Düsseldorf. Teachers begin as assistants, and thus pick up a certain amount of training in the course of time. But in neither public nor private institutions is a Kindergarten system on Froebel's lines carried out to any great extent.


The salary of a head-teacher is 23 (470 M.) yearly, and of an assistant 15 (300 M.). In addition the teachers in the Municipal Schools are allowed to take fees from the children to the extent of 6d. per child per month. No fees are taken directly by the Municipal Authorities. Pensions are given up to three-fourths of the salary received.

Numbers and Cost

There are altogether in Düsseldorf 27 institutions for children between three and six, accommodating 4754 children, and attended in 1906 by 3752 children. Eight of these institutions are entirely Municipal. For the total number of institutions there were 85 teachers, and 27 assistants. The total outlay by the Municipality on all institutions was 734 (14,675 M.), but this sum does not include the cost of the upkeep, heating, cleaning, etc., of the premises in which the Municipal Kindergartens are housed, which is estimated with the expenses of the ordinary schools.

None of the institutions visited either in Cologne or in Düsseldorf, calls for particular description, and it seems to be the case that in both of these towns the organisation is better on paper than in fact. In both places large numbers of children are found under one teacher. Thus in Düsseldorf, though the

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numbers given in the Municipal Statistics work out at about 60 children to each teacher (including assistants), yet out of the three institutions that I visited two had classes of 80 under one teacher. It is partly a result of these large numbers that so little has been attempted in the way of definite Kindergarten work.


The institutions in Frankfort for the care of children under the compulsory school age are very well organised, and have some interesting features not to be found elsewhere. Since 1898 all institutions for children between the ages of three and six have been under careful Municipal supervision and they all receive yearly grants, though only two of them are entirely supported by the Municipality. One of the City School Inspectors keeps a register of all such institutions, in which particulars are entered in each case as to the number of rooms and the accommodation, the training of the person in charge, the name of the doctor in attendance, and whether there is a garden attached. Each institution is occasionally visited by this inspector. It is possible, perhaps probable, that in time all these institutions may be taken over altogether by the Municipality, though at present the expense is a deterrent factor. On the other hand some at least of the school authorities are doubtful whether it would be a good thing to have institutions of this kind directly controlled by a public body, as a certain amount of restriction as to time-tables and management would be the necessary consequence of such a step. In the case of very small children it is desirable that a good deal of freedom in the handling of them should be allowed to those in charge, and this, it is thought, may be better obtained by leaving the institutions under private management with Municipal supervision as at present.

There are altogether 30 institutions in Frankfort for children between the age of three and six, attended by some 3,000 children. The total sum spent on such institutions by the City amounted in 1907 to 791 (15,830 M.), but, this year it will be about 1,416 (28,380 M.), as the grants to one Society are to be largely increased. Certain regulations hold good for all institutions alike. One teacher is allowed for every 40 children, and salaries range from 4 to 6 monthly (80 to 120 M.) In many cases the Head Mistress lives on the premises and receives free lodging as well as her salary. In addition to the teacher or teachers, each institution has a maid servant, who acts in some degree as nurse to the children and who receives a monthly wage of 1 5s. (25 M.) All institutions are medically inspected, the doctor's services in each case being given free. There is no regulation time-table, each teacher being allowed to draw up her own, and to regulate the length of each occupation as seems best. Occupations generally, however,

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are carried out on Froebel's lines. In most schools a particular subject is taken each month, according to the season of the year, and talks, stories, etc., are grouped round this.


The two Kindergartens directly controlled by the Municipality of Frankfort are, so to speak, accidental in origin. They are situated in outlying villages which a few years ago were taken into the Municipal area. At the time of their incorporation these villages possessed public Kindergartens, and the City of Frankfort was, therefore, bound to continue such institutions in these particular instances.

Number of Children in attendance

About 200 children with five teachers are accommodated in these two Kindergartens, which, in the words of the regulations, offer children of from three to six years of age "shelter and occupation suited to their years, in cases where the parents are not able themselves to look after their children". In the form to be filled in by an applicant for admission to one of these Kindergartens, information has to he given as to the whereabouts of the mother at mid-day.


The Kindergartens are open in Summer from 7 a. m. and in Winter from 8 or 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday is a half-holiday, and the other holidays are the same as in the elementary schools. Admission is free.

School Dinners

Children whose parents are not at home in the middle of the day can receive dinner, but the Municipality has nothing to do with the arrangements for this meal, beyond providing the kitchen and cooking utensils. A woman undertakes to cook and supply a dinner at 7d. a head weekly (70 pf.), and makes what she can out of it. She is supervised by the Head Mistress, who lives on the premises.

A detailed description of one of these Kindergartens will be found below (p. 224).


As in other places private institutions in Frankfort are supported by numerous committees. There are, for example, some thirteen committees each supporting one institution. It would be unnecessary to give a detailed account of the institutions in each case, but there is one Society supporting a large number of schools of which the working may be more fully described.

Society for People's Kindergartens

This is the Society for People's Kindergartens (Verein für Volkskindergärten), founded in 1896, which maintains five Kindergartens, accommodating altogether 500 children, under the

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charge of Kindergarten teachers trained on the Froebel system. Those Kindergartens are intended primarily for children whose parents are at work, and, therefore unable to look after them, and they are open in Summer from 8 to 12 a.m, and from 2 to 5 p.m., and in Winter from 9 to 12 a.m, and from 2 to 5 p.m. The fee charged varies from 7½d. (75 pf.) to 3s. a month, according to the circumstances of the individual families. A further charge of ½d. a day is made for milk, which is given at 10 a.m. and at 4 p.m., the children bringing rolls with them, and, if necessary, dinner can be had for another ½d. daily. In some instances these Kindergartens are accommodated in very excellent houses built on purpose; a description of one of these will be found on p. 225 below. A doctor gives his services in connection with each Kindergarten, and there is also a large number of voluntary helpers, who assist the teachers.

Training Course for Nursery Maids

An interesting and practical feature in the Kindergartens under this Society is that they are used also for training as nursery maids girls who have just left the elementary schools (see Appendix 42 (3)). These girls are received free of charge, but must follow the course of training for a year. They help in the work of the Kindergarten, and thus gain experience in the management and care of small children. Girls trained in this way can be sure of good situations on leaving.


The cost of maintaining these five Kindergartens cannot be exactly estimated, as two institutions of another kind are included in the yearly statement of expenses. The sum received in school fees in 1906 was 178 (3,565 M.) and for food 338 (6,757 M.). The average attendance at the five schools for 1906 was 449.


.A course of training for Kindergarten teachers, on the PestaIozzi-Froebel method is carried on by the Frauenbildungs-Verein in Frankfort. The course lasts from 1½ to 2 years, according to whether the student is training as a private Kindergärtnerin in a family or as a teacher in a Kindergarten School. The fee is 7 10s. yearly (150 M.). The course of instruction is similar to that in institutions elsewhere. There is a practising Kindergarten in connection with the training College.

This year (1908) the Municipality of Frankfort hopes to open a large training College for Women Teachers, which is being built at a cost of 85,000 (700,000 M.). This will include a Kindergarten Course and a practising Kindergarten School. The latter will be visited by all teachers in training, and not by Kindergarten teachers only, as it is considered desirable that all teachers should have experience of children of as young an age as possible.

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The Kindergarten system of Frankfort has been largely developed lately in the way of providing new buildings, and some of the institutions in this CIty are housed in a way that represents the very latest and best developments in institutions of this kind in Germany, or indeed anywhere. Three schools were visited, for instance, which had all been opened within the last six months, and which were admirably equipped. The sanitary arrangements in particular, in contrast to those found in certain institutions elsewhere, were excellent in every case. The offices were fitted with small "baby" closets, well flushed on the separate cistern plan, and the lavatories were supplied with hot and cold water. All these new buildings had central heating apparatus. The following notes were taken of the visits paid to these particular schools:

(a) Municipal Kindergarten at Oberrad

This is in a new building erected at a cost of about 3,000 or 3,500 (60,00 to 70,000 M.), and opened at Easter, 1907. The house is detached and of three storeys, standing behind a large elementary school, on high ground, overlooking a wide stretch of wood and field. It accommodates 120 children, with three teachers. The head teacher lives on the premises. On the first floor there is a large light playroom and a good classroom, with the offices and bathrooms and lavatory. In the play and classrooms the walls are colour-washed, with a dado of stained and varnished wood, in one room green and in the other red. Doors and window-frames match in each case. The furniture in the playroom consists of little round tables with small chairs; in the classroom of low tables and benches, and a black board. In the lavatories, etc., the floors are paved with red and white tiles, and the walls have a dado of glazed white tiles. There are eight wash-hand basins, six water-closets, and two small zinc baths. Pegs for hats and cloaks are in the hall.

On the second floor are two more classrooms, and offices similar to those below, but no lavatory or bathrooms. On this floor there is also an excellently fitted up kitchen. Above again are the living rooms of the head mistress. The smaller children are put to sleep from 12.30 to 2.30, and instead of beds sloping wooden frames are used covered with brown canvas.

The garden is gravelled, and planted with trees. It contains the usual sand-pits and play-shed, with flower-beds in one corner. A low wooden fence divides it from the playground of the school behind, and in one place this fence was covered with large pumpkin, the growth of which had been watched with interest by the children, from the planting of the seeds to the swelling of the great yellow fruit.

On the bright October day on which the school was visited doors and windows were wide open, and sun and air streamed in everywhere. The children were playing outside.

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(b) Kindergarten under the Verein für Volkskindergärten

This school occupies the ground flat in a tenement forming one of a colony of model Workmen's Dwellings. The dwellings in this case are built in horse-shoe shape round a court. The school accommodates 110 children, and is planned in the form of a long corridor with rooms on each side. On the one side there are three small class-rooms opening into one another by folding partitions, and on the other the playroom and a covered glass verandah. Here also the walls are colour-washed in a light tint to harmonise with the dado of stained red, green, or blue wood, and the furniture consists either of long tables with benches, or of round tables with chairs. In one of the class-rooms at the time of the visit tables were laid for dinner. The preparation consisted simply of putting three tables together and tying over them white wax cloth covers. At each place there was a white wooden square and a spoon. In this school also sloping canvas-covered wooden frames (roughly 4½ ft, by 2½ ft.) are used for the midday sleep. They are kept in a cellar below one of the rooms, and handed up through a trap-door when required. There are two baths, in which the children are bathed two or three times a week, and there is also a garden, laid out in the usual way.

(c) Jewish Kindergarten

This Kindergarten, founded in 1800, has just moved into a very fine new building called after the donors, the "Moritz und Johanna Oppenheimerscher Kindergarten für Israeliten". The building is beautifully and most expensively fitted up, but is hardly typical of what it is possible to do in ordinary circumstances. The house is detached, and accommodates 70 children, and the total cost of ground and building was 10,000 (200,000 M.) All the rooms for the children, viz., two class-rooms, a play-room, a cloak-room, offices and lavatory, are on the ground floor. The play-room is exceptionally large and lofty, with a gay painted frieze representing the Four Seasons, and seats on a raised gallery at one end, so that the children can be gathered together there for any particular display. Out of the play-room there opens it sunny covered glass verandah. Here the children take their mid-day sleep, on small canvas deck-chairs with folding foot-rests. Each chair is numbered, and each child has his own. The verandah leads by three steps into the garden. The lavatory is all white, with porcelain baths and hand-basins. The offices open off it, and there are also smaller offices on the basement floor, entered from the garden. The floors in lobby and class-rooms are covered with plain dark-red linoleum. The second storey contains a large and admirable kitchen (whence the food is sent down by a lift), the head teacher's rooms, and the Committee rooms. There is also on this floor an isolation room for use in any case of illness. The wood-work and walls of this room are white. It contains a basin with hot and cold water, an invalid couch and a medicine cupboard. The

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whole building is fitted with electric light. The children in this school are very poor, many of them being the children of Jewish immigrants. The fees are 2½d. weekly (25 pf.), which includes dinner, and milk and rolls in the afternoon. Overalls of dark-blue print and bibs for meals are supplied clean every day. Baths are given twice weekly. All children are made to gargle after the mid-day meal. A doctor is in attendance, and the children are weighed and measured every month. The School receives many gifts of shoes and clothing.


There is no direct Municipal supervision in Leipzig of institutions for the care of children under school age, though in many cases these institutions receive grants and sometimes the use of rooms in a school, from the Municipal Authorities. As no register appears to be kept of the different institutions, general figures for the whole subject are not to be had other than those given in the Table in Appendix 37.

The institutions for children between the ages of three and six fall, generally speaking, into two classes: (a) Kindergartens. (b) Kinderbewahranstalten.


Kindergartens are provided in Leipzig by the following Societies: Verein für Volkskindergärten, Leipziger Froebel-Verein, Pestalozzi-Froebel-Verein, Verein für Familien und Volkserziehung. The largest number is under the Verein für Volkskindergärten, whose object is to provide Kindergartens for the children of poor parents. It has at present six Kindergartens under its charge, attended in 1906 by some 394 children, the highest average daily attendance being 65. The report of the Society for 1906 states that in several cases the Kindergartens were overfilled, and about 300 children had to be refused admission. In consequence of this demand a seventh Kindergarten has been started by the Society. In several cases the Society is granted the use of a room or rooms in a Bezirks or a Bürger School; in other cases suitable localities are rented. The fee charged is 6d. (50 pf.) weekly, with an additional 1d. weekly for material. Teachers' salaries range from 50 M. to 75 M. monthly (30 to 45 yearly). The children do not receive meals, but go home in the middle of the day. The cost of the maintenance of the six Kindergartens in 1906 was, roughly, 335 (6,707 M.); the sum contributed by the payments of the children amounted to 147 (2,945 M.)

The three other societies support altogether five Kindergartens, which serve also as practising schools for the course of training for Kindergarten teachers, conducted respectively by each society. These kindergartens are all run on much the same lines, and need not be described separately. The number of children in each school ranges from about 30 to 75. Fees vary according to the locality and the class of children. They run from 6d. to 3s. a month, and free places are provided in the institutions visited by poorer children. The children are admitted between the ages

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of 2½ or 3 and 6 years. The hours are from 8.30 or 9 to 12, and from 2 to 4. Wednesday and Saturday afternoons are free, and the holidays are the same as in the Elementary schools. Salaries range from 30 to 45 yearly. In the regulations for the schools for the poorer children it is generally stated that "children must come punctually and regularly, cleanly clad, and provided with a pocket and a clean pocket-handkerchief. Parents must provide for the bringing and fetching of the children".

The Municipality gives grants to the different Kindergarten societies, ranging from 15 (300 M.) to 60 (1,200 M.) yearly.

Municipal Kindergarten

A small Kindergarten attended by 30 children is maintained by the Municipal Authorities as a practising school for Kindergarten teachers in training in connection with the Municipal School for Women's Occupations (Städlische Schule für Frauenberufe). This Kindergarten is accommodated in a room on the ground floor of the school, and has the occasional use of the gymnasium. It meets only in the morning, in winter from 10 to 12, and in summer from 8 to 12. The children pay 2½d. (25 pf.) monthly.

Training Courses for Kindergarten Teachers

(1) Municipal

A Kindergärtnerinnen-Seminar is conducted in connection with the Municipal School for Women's Occupations. Kindergarten teachers of Class I (kindergarten teachers for the family, and for public Kindergartens) have a three years' course, while the training for those of Class II (children's nurses and nursery governesses) lasts for two years. The yearly fee is 2 8s. (48 M.) Besides the practising school in the building, the Kindergarten of the Verein für Volkskindergärten are open to the students in training.

(2) Private

Each of the following Societies has a training course for Kindergarten teachers, viz.: The Leipziger Froebel-Verein, the Pestalozzi-Froebel-Verein, and the Verein für Familien und Volkserziehung. Kindergarten teachers of both classes are trained in these courses, and in two of the colleges there is an additional course for those who wish to become teachers in a Kindergarten college. The course of study is much the same as in the Municipal Kindergärtnerinnen-Seminar. The courses last from 1½ to 2½ years, and the cost of training ranges from 5 to 11 yearly. The conditions of admission are that the candidate shall have passed through the highest class of a Bürgerschule, and have obtained a satisfactory leaving certificate.


There are some 24 Kleinkinderbewahranstalten in Leipzig, supported by many different committees. In a large number of cases these institutions are parochial, but as each society is

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worked independently it is not possible to give general statistics. The persons in charge are either Sisters of different religious orders or Kindergarten teachers. The hours are from 6 or 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in summer and from 7 or 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in winter. The children pay 5d. or 6d. weekly and receive a mid-day dinner and milk or coffee and bread in the afternoon. They bring their breakfast with them. They are not admitted under 2½ or 3 years, nor, generally, after school age, though in one such institution at least a sort of Kinderhort is combined with the Bewahranstalt, and the older children come after school hours. Every institution possesses a garden, where the children spend most of the fine weather. The day is occupied with games and occupations on more or less Kindergarten lines, according to the tastes and training of the person in charge. A two hours' sleep after dinner is generally insisted upon; the elder children rest their arms on the table and their heads on their arms, while small wooden beds are provided for the younger ones. In many cases a doctor gives his services when required.

With one or two exceptions, the institutions visited in Leipzig, whether Kindergartens or Bewahranstalten, were not remarkable, and do not call for detailed description. The accommodation varied in different institutions; but, as a rule, it was not free from the drawbacks almost inseparable in any alteration of a private house for other purposes. In every case, however, the garden was a pleasant feature, and there on a fine day the children were generally to be found. In one Kindergarten, for instance, visited in the afternoon, the children were sitting in three groups - about ten in each - round low tables under the trees. One group was modelling with clay, another was stringing beads into necklaces, while the third set was sticking slips of coloured paper together to form stars. This last occupation proved rather a difficult task for the small fingers, for the paper (bookbinders' waste to be had for the asking) was glazed and slippery and would not stick. The very youngest children were tumbling about happily by themselves on a heap of sand and gravel. Where the Kindergartens are held in the schools the children have to share the common playground, and are not able to be so much out of doors. Time-tables were little in evidence, and did not seem to be very strictly adhered t0 - at all events, in fine weather.

One admirably housed Kinderbewahranstalt, however, in a suburb of Leipzig, is worthy of a more detailed description. It is established in connection with a set of Model Workmen's houses built by a "Society for the Erection of Cheap Dwellings" (Stiftung für Erbauung billiger Wohnungen). The houses in question, which accommodate 344 families, are built in rectangular form, round about five acres of open ground, and the Kinderbewahranstalt forms one end of the quadrangle. It is a detached house of three storeys, the children's rooms being on the first floor. There are three of these, two for occupations, and one for games. The last is a bow-shaped room, looking out on to the ground enclosed by the houses, which is laid out with a

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walk down the middle and strips of allotment-gardens on each side. The play-room is lighted by nine large windows, and faces south. In a small room off it, beds are provided for the youngest children. They consist of low wooden bedsteads, wide enough to hold five children in a row. The mattress is covered with a blanket, which, as well as the over blanket, is washed weekly. The other rooms are furnished with low benches and tables. Each table seats ten children, and for the different occupations the children are thus divided up into groups of ten. There is a good kitchen and larder also on the ground floor. Dinner is taken in one of the class-rooms, and eaten out of small enamel bowls. Pegs for the children's clothes are hung in the lobby. On the upper floor are the living rooms of the Kindergarten mistresses.

There is a small play-ground for the children, fenced in from the common ground and containing a play-shed, a sand-heap, and little plots for gardens. The children were outside at the time the institution was visited.

This institution is attended by from 60 to 80 children. The hours are from 8 to 6, though some children go home to mid-day dinner, with an hour and a-half's sleep in the afternoon. The age of admission is from two years to six. The fee charged is about 3½d. (35 pf.) weekly, which includes dinner (see Appendix 43), afternoon coffee, and material for occupations. The children are provided with dark blue print overalls, one a week. The early breakfast (as well as a pocket handkerchief), is required to be brought by each child. Holidays are the same as in the schools. There are two mistresses, both trained Kindergarten teachers. This institution and a similar one of the same size in another "colony" are supported by the society which manages the buildings; they cost on an average (in addition to the payments of the children), about 4d. (37 pf.), per child, per school day.


The population of Munich is 538,983 (1905); there are 55 Public Elementary Schools (Volksschulen) attended by 61,758 children. Attendance at these schools only becomes compulsory on the children after they have reached the age of six. The provision made for the care and education of children between three and six years of age falls into two classes :

(1) The institutions supported by the municipality;
(2) The institutions supported by private enterprise.

There are in Munich, at present 23 Kindergartens under the care of the municipal authorities (Stadt Gemeinde). Up to January, 1907, these institutions had been directed and supported by a private society (Münchener Kindergartenverein) which

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had existed since 1868. As this society, however, had no longer sufficient funds at its disposal to meet the necessary expenses, the municipal authorities agreed in September, 1906, to take over the entire charge of the Kindergarten Departments from the beginning of 1907. They had already for some time partially supported these departments, the Stadt-Magistrat giving a yearly grant of about 2,334 (46,693 M.), including a grant of 627 (12,548 M.) for teachers' salaries. A Kindergarten Department has been included in every new school for the last sixteen years, and the use of these buildings was granted to the society rent free, and without charge for heating and cleaning.

As the transference of the Kindergarten Departments has only taken place so recently the organisation is still in a transitory state.

Building and Equipment

The Kindergarten Departments are on the ground floor, shut off from the rest of the school, and with a separate entrance. They consist generally of two rooms, with a cloak room, teachers' room, and lavatories for the boys and for the girls, these last being inside the building. There is always a garden attached, with a covered play-shed, and a plot either of grass or of gravel, surrounded by trees. The class-rooms vary in size in the different buildings. The furnishing is of the most simple description. One room contains long low tables with low benches, and the other is left empty in the middle for games, etc., and has benches round the walls. A piano and a few pictures and a cupboard or two complete the equipment, with the exception of the materials necessary for the various Kindergarten occupations. There are also benches and tables in the garden and in the play-shed, and the former often contains a sand-pit.

The Staff

There are as yet no particular regulations as to the number of teachers in relation to the size of the classes. The number ranges at present from four in the largest schools (of about 140 children) to one in the smallest (40-45 children). There are at present in all 63 teachers.

Qualifications and Training

Every teacher must have undergone training as a Kindergarten teacher. The Training College for Kindergarten Teachers in Munich (Münchener Kindergärtnerinnen-Seminar) is under private direction. The course lasts for a year, from September 15th to July 15th, and consists of instruction in the theory and practice of Kindergarten teaching. Candidates for entrance must be at least sixteen years old, and must have been at a Girls' Higher School, or some corresponding institution. These regulations have not hitherto been insisted upon very stringently. In future, however, they will probably be more strictly observed, and the period of training may be extended to two years. The cost of the year's training is about 9 (180 M.).

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After leaving the Training College the Kindergarten teacher has to serve for a year in a school without salary as Praktikantin. She then serves for four years as Hilfslehrerin, and for three years as Verweserin; after these eight years she is recognised as a fully trained Kindergärtnerin.

The salaries are as follows: Hilfslehrerin about 30 (600 M.) a year; Verweserin about 36 (720 M.); Kindergärtnerin 48 (960 M.), with five three-yearly increments, and five five-yearly increments of 3 respectively. Further the Verweserin is entitled to a pension of 65 per cent of her salary, and the Kindergärtnerin to one of 70 per cent in the first ten years of service, 80 per cent in the second ten years, 90 per cent from the twenty-first to the thirty-fifth years of service, 95 per cent from the thirty-sixth to the fortieth; after fifty years' service she is entitled to the whole salary as pension. There is also an organising Kindergarten mistress (Oberkindergärtnerin) who receives an additional salary of 24 (48O M.)


The teachers receive the following holidays: Praktikantin 14 days; Hilfslehrerin 4 weeks; Verweserin and Kindergärtnerin 6 weeks.

Conditions, etc., for Admission to Kindergarten

Children are received into the Kindergarten between the ages of 3 and 6. Attendance is voluntary, and entrance can take place at any time - the only conditions imposed are that the child shall be clean and free from any infectious or contagious disease.


A fee is charged of 2s. (2 M.) a month; if two attend from the same family, half-price is charged for the second child. In the case of poverty the fees are remitted either in whole or in part.

Hours, etc.

The Kindergartens are open daily, except on Sundays and on certain public holidays, from 8 a.m. to 12, and from 2 to 6 p.m. They remain open during the summer vacation. It is possible to arrange for this and at the same time to give the teachers holidays without increasing the teaching staff; as the attendance is much smaller during the summer months.

Instruction and Time-table

The instruction given is of the ordinary Kindergarten nature, consisting of games, action-songs, clay-modelling, paper-folding and weaving, etc. The object is to leave the children as free as possible, and to reduce anything approaching school discipline to a minimum. In summer the children are as much as possible in the garden, or at least in the open play shed. (See Appendix 40 (1)).

Number of Children in Attendance

The latest available report of the Kindergarten Society, that for 1905, gives a total attendance in the year of 1,658 individual

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children at twenty Kindergarten Departments. In the City statistics for the same year the number of children from one to six years of age is given as 64,157; thus about 2½ per cent of the child population under the compulsory school age were in attendance at a Kindergarten. Out of those 1,658 children, an average of about 59, or roughly 3½ per cent of the number attending, had free places. As there are now 28 Kindergartens under the Municipal Authorities the percentage of the child population in attendance will be higher. There are not yet sufficient Kindergartens to meet the demand.


The cost of erecting a Kindergarten Department for between 60 and 80 children (exclusive of the cost of the ground) is reckoned at about 800 to 1,000 (16,000 to 20,000 M.). No exact estimate is yet to be had as to the cost of maintenance per child per year. The yearly expenditure on the part of the Stadt-Magistrat is estimated as likely to be about 3,000 or 3,500 (60,000 to 70,000 M.).


The majority of the Kindergarten children go home to dinner in the middle of the day, but in those departments attached to schools where there is a soup kitchen, a dinner of soup with meat in it is provided at a charge of 1d. daily (10 pf.). Each child brings his own morning lunch, and also something to eat in the afternoon (Vesperbrod). The bringing and fetching of the children is not undertaken by the school authorities. They do not receive boots or clothing, nor are they medically inspected.

Four-fifths of the children attending the Kindergartens come from working-class families, but other sections of society are also represented. In the Kindergartens in the wealthier part of the city, for instance, there are to be found the children of officers, professors, teachers, etc. Such children often attend the Kindergarten for a part only of the clay.

Under Municipal management certain alterations will probably be made in the organisation of the Kindergartens. The number of teachers, in particular, is likely to be increased, so as to reduce as far as possible the number of children under one teacher. The Kindergarten ideal of a home, as distinct from a school atmosphere, could only be obtained with very small groups of children (about 12) under each teacher.



These institutions are of the nature of day-nurseries for children under school age of working-class parents. They are supported and directed by different charitable societies. The City statistics for 1905 give the total number of such institutions as 24, 20 being Catholic and 4 Protestant.

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Building and Equipment

The accommodation varies considerably in size, the average number of children in attendance monthly in the different institutions ranging from about 400 to 20. In almost every case the room or rooms provided form part of a larger building, used for other purposes. Generally speaking, the Kinderbewahranstalt consists of one large room, or two smaller ones provided with low tables and forms, lavatories, kitchen, and garden. The accommodation indeed is on much the same lines as in the Kindergartens.


These institutions are conducted by Sisters of various religious orders, both Catholic and Protestant, sometimes with voluntary lay assistants.

Admission Fees

Children are received between the ages of 3 and 6. A small fee is charged, generally about 3d. weekly (30 pf.), but poor children are received free of charge. Dinner, consisting of soup with meat in it, is provided for those children who do not go home in the middle of the day, at a charge of either ½d. (5 pf.) or 1d. (10 pf.) daily. This charge is also remitted in the case of poverty.

Hours, etc.

The Kinderbewahranstalten are open every week-day throughout the year from about 6.30 or 7 a.m, to 6.30 or 7 p.m.


The instruction in these institutions is more or less on Kindergarten lines, including action-songs, games, hand-work, etc. A time-table, however, is less strictly adhered to than in the regular Kindergartens, and religious exercises play a much larger part in the day's curriculum. In summer the children are as much as possible out-of-doors. All the institutions seem to be conducted on much the same lines.


Exact estimates are not to be had of the cost of maintenance of the Kinderbewahranstalten, or of the cost of the buildings. In almost every case the Bewahranstalt forms part of a larger building, and other organisations are included in the year's expenditure.

The municipal authorities (Stadt-Magistrat) give a yearly grant of about 186 (3,716 M.), divided among different private institutions.


No arrangement is made for bringing and fetching the children. At Christmas the poorer children receive gifts of clothing.

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There are besides the Kinderbewahranstalten, four Catholic infants schools in Munich, supported by charitable societies. These institutions approach more nearly than the Kinderbewahranstalten to the regular Kindergartens. The teachers are paid, and do not belong to any religious order; they need not, however, have undergone regular Kindergarten training.


The usual fee charged is 2s. (2 M.) monthly, with reductions in the case of more than one child attending from one family. A dinner of soup is provided at a daily charge of ½d. Free places and free meals are granted in cases of poverty.


The schools are open every week-day, in winter from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and in summer from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are closed for a short time in the summer holidays.


The instruction and occupations are of the ordinary Kindergarten kind.

The monthly average attendance at the Infant Schools in 1905 was 366.

Jewish Kindergarten

There has also been in existence in Munich for the last two years a Jewish Kindergarten for the children of poor Jewish parents. It is supported by a private society, and worked largely by voluntary helpers. There are three rooms accommodating thirty children. The children are received free, and are given a free breakfast of milk and bread; they also receive a warm bath once a week. The hours are from 8.15 a.m. to 12, and from 2 p.m. to 4.

Cost of Private Infant Schools

As in the case of the Kinderbewahranstalten, the Infant Schools almost always form part of a larger building, and no separate estimates are to be had as to the expense of erection or the cost of maintenance. In one instance, however, a separate building had been erected for an Infant School alone at a cost of, roughly, 500 (10,000 M.). This was for the building only, which was of one storey and contained two rooms, kitchen, cloakroom, visitors' room, and lavatories. The cost of the garden and play-shed was not included in the estimate given. The school had an average attendance of 180 children with one teacher and two assistants. Of these, ten were received free and 138 at half-price. The expenditure for the year 1906 was about 190 (3,806 marks), roughly, 1 1s. per child.

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In each of the five districts (Kreise) into which Zurich is divided a Committee (Kindergarten-Kommission) of from five to 10 members, formed from the District School Committee (Kreis-Schulpflege), is appointed to superintend the public Kindergarten classes. There are further three women inspectors, whose duty it is to visit Kindergartens, and private Kinderbewahranstalten in the City and surrounding district (Bezirk-Zurich). These women inspectors are teachers, one in a Kindergarten, and two in elementary schools, and the work of inspection is carried on in addition to their school work. Each of them is bound to visit each institution allotted to her twice a year, and she receives 6 francs for each visit. There are about 25 institutions for each inspectress.

Regulations, etc.

In the public Kindergartens children are admitted from the end of the third to the end of the fifth year. No fees are charged. The hours are from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 2 to 4 p.m., with two afternoons free in the week. One teacher is allowed to every 40 children. Salaries begin at 1,400 francs a year, and rise gradually, till, after twenty-one years of service, the maximum of 2,400 francs is reached. A pension is given, amounting to 60 per cent of the salary, at the time of retiring. (For the occupations, etc., of the Kindergartens, see Appendix 41 (1)).


The public Kindergartens are held for the most part in the public schools, where a room on the ground floor is assigned to each class. They have generally the use of another room for playing. The Kindergarten children share the common playground, but have separate offices inside the building. In some quarters of the city, however, where there is no convenient school, rooms are hired for the purpose of a Kindergarten.

School Dinners

In the poorer districts the Kindergarten children are given soup and bread at mid-day, and in some cases milk. This is supplied free out of a fund made up of Municipal and private contributions. This fund also provides clothes, shoes, and spectacles for poor children.

Medical Inspection

The Kindergarten children do not come under the regular medical inspection, though the school doctor can be called in if necessary. They share, however, with the other school children in the periodical inspection of heads. This occurs twice or thrice a year, and is carried out with the aid of a powerful magnifying

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glass, by a woman appointed for the purpose, who acts us a sort of assistant to the school doctor. The parents of children who are found to be in a dirty condition are warned, and if the warning has no effect the authorities have power to have the offending child cleansed. Compulsory cleansings are rare, however, as they are looked upon as a great disgrace.

There are at present 47 Kindergarten classes in Zurich, attended in 1906 by 1,823 children. Of this number 266 children received mid-day soup.

The yearly cost of the Municipal Kindergartens is not estimated separately from the general school expenses.

Training of Teachers

A course of training for Kindergarten teachers is held in Zurich every second year in the Girls' Public High School (Höhere Töchterschule). The number of students is limited to 30. The course is free, and consists of 32 hours a week, 10 of which are occupied with practical work in the Kindergartens. The subjects consist of German (five hours), History of Education (three hours), Method (two hours), Hygiene (two hours), Natural History (two hours), Geometry (one hour), Drawing (two hours), Singing (two hours), Gymnastics (one hour), Handwork (two hours) (sec Appendix 42 (4)).

Equipment: Time-table

The Kindergarten system of Zurich is well organised, and the occupations are carried out on broad and reasonable lines. The accommodation naturally varies. Where the class is held in a school the rooms are large, well provided with windows, and heated with hot pipes. The furnishing consists of low tables, seating four or five children a side, with either low benches or little chairs with arms. Pegs for hats and cloaks are generally in the corridor. Where rooms are hired for the purposes of a Kindergarten the accommodation may leave a good deal to be desired. One class which was visited, for instance, was held in a room on the ground floor of a corner house. Though the room itself was fairly large and well lighted, the lavatory accommodation and the offices were very deficient, and there was no garden. There was, however, a public square just outside, and country walks were within reach.

No general time-table is insisted upon in the Kindergarten classes, and the division of time is left largely in the hands of the individual teacher. Where it is possible country walks are taken on fine afternoons. One class was visited as it assembled in the morning. Proceedings began with a short prayer, which was followed by an individual inspection of hands, which were satisfactorily clean in each case. Then came the roll-call, and after some recitation of poetry, the children were divided into groups and placed round tables. One set was given large beads to thread, another bricks to build with, a third pricked cards to sew, while the fourth set made patterns on the table with porcelain buttons.

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(Porcelain buttons of different sizes and colours are used in Zurich instead of cardboard discs. Though more expensive they have the advantage of being easily washed, and not easily destroyed.) Talking was allowed among the children.


In 1900 there were 19 Kleinkinderbewahranstalten or Spielschulen in Zurich attended by 1,005 children. These are under the same Municipal supervision as the public Kindergartens, and have to conform to certain regulations laid down by the city. They are not allowed to take children before the completion of the fourth year, and all teachers must be trained. The hours are the same as in the Kindergartens, and the fee charged is from 60 to 100 centimes a month. These institutions receive no support from the city. Many of them are of old standing, and were founded as far back as 1830. Generally speaking they are not modern either in spirit or method, and they seem to exist largely for religious reasons. Much greater weight is laid in them on religious instruction than in the town Kindergartens. The object, for instance, of the Verein für Kleinkinderbewahranstalten (Zurich) is stated in the Society's regulations to be "to receive children under school age, to influence their education through the principles of the Christian religion, and to further their development, bodily and mental. For this purpose no other means are to be employed than those used by a Christian mother in a well-regulated family for the education of her children". In general the tone of the reports of the different private Societies (some seven in all) are rather on the defensive as against the public institutions. Some of them state, however, that they have not sufficient places to supply the demand, and congratulate themselves that "even in these days of State management many parents prefer schools for which they must make a sacrifice to the free schools".

As an example of the cost of these private institutions, the following extract from the accounts of a Society maintaining three Bewahranstalten, attended by about 160 children, may be given:

The total amount received in school fees was Fr. 1,250 20c.

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(10) BASEL


In Basel the same system of public kindergartens exists as in Zurich, and here also all institutions for children between three and six are under municipal supervision. In Basel, however, the number of municipal classes is larger than in Zurich, and private institutions are gradually being taken over by the city. Municipal organisation in this city dates from 1895.


In Basel, the public Kindergartens, or Kleinkinderanstalten as they are called, are under the general supervision of the Education Department (Erziehungs Departernent), and under the particular supervision of a special committee (Kommission der Kleinkinderanstalten), consisting of a president and eight members, three of whom must be women, chosen by the Municipal Council (Regierungsrat) for a period of three years. This committee has the power of appointing a Ladies' Committee of from three to five members for each individual institution.

There is further a woman inspector appointed by the Education Department at a yearly salary of from 8,000 francs to 5,000 francs, who has charge of all institutions public and private. Her duties are carefully laid down in the official regulations. She organises the public Kindergartens, keeps the accounts, and supervises the attendance returns. She visits the different classes, inspects the management of the children, the sanitary conditions, etc., and arranges any difficulties that may arise, such as those between parents and teacher. She reports to the special committee, to which she acts as secretary. She also arranges conferences with the teachers of the Kleinkinderanstalten, at which she takes the chair.


Children are admitted to the public Kindergartens from the end of the third to the end of the fifth year. Attendance is optional and free. The hours are from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 2 to 4 p.m. There is one teacher to every 40 children; where the class is over 40 an assistant is appointed. The salaries for teachers range from 1,500 francs to 2,000 francs yearly with a supplement after 10 years' service, and another after 15 years' service, rising altogether to a maximum of 2,350 francs. Assistants begin with 1,000 francs yearly. Pensions are given of from 1,000 francs to 1,500 francs a year.

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The occupations laid down in the official regulations as suitable for children between 3 and 6, are story-telling, observation and description of objects and pictures, practice in speaking, simple handwork, games and singing. No one occupation is to last more than three-quarters of an hour. It is expressly stated that no instruction in reading, writing or arithmetic is to be given. Teachers are to strive to train the children in obedience, honesty, and love of truth, and "to plant the seed of childish piety in their hearts". They are to pay great attention to the bodily care of the children, to see that they sit, stand and walk in a rational way, and to guard against any straining of sight or hearing. Corporal punishment is only allowed in exceptional cases, and then only in a way which would not go beyond mild paternal punishment ("nur in einer Weise welche die Grenzen einer mässigen elterlichen Zucht night überschreiten.")* The children in the Kindergartens are not as yet medically inspected. The poorer ones get boots and clothing from the Municipality.

Numbers, Cost, etc.

In 1906 there were 13 Municipal institutions in Basel with 14 classes. The number of children in attendance was 3,213, with 42 teachers and 32 assistants. The estimated expenditure on the part of the municipality for 1908 is 28O,000 francs. This includes rent, salaries, material, etc., as well as grants to private institutions.

Training Course for Kindergarten Teachers

A free course of training for teachers in Kleinkinderanstalten is held in the Girls' High School in Basel. The course lasts a year, and follows the same lines as the similar course in Zurich.


Private institutions for children between 3 and 6 years of are are under the same supervision and regulations as the public ones. A private institution can only be opened with the permission of the Council of Education (Erziehungsrat), which must be satisfied that the qualifications of the teacher, the size of the classes, the accommodation provided, etc., are satisfactory. All private institutions which charge no fees, and in which the mistress has a salary of at least 1,000 francs yearly, can receive grants from the municipality. These grants are from 500 francs to 600 francs yearly in each case. In 1906 there were 20 private institutions in Basel, attended by 836 children.

Kinderhorte for Children under School Age†

There is a further interesting development of private enterprise in Basel. Kinderhorte are provided in some quarters of the

*This regulation, however, is never taken advantage of and is practically a dead letter.

†See also Appendix 45.

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town for children attending the Kleinkinderanstalten. So far as is known Basel is the only place where such institutions exist for the small children, though in all German and Swiss towns a more or less flourishing system of Kinderhorte is carried on for children of school age. The need of such a provision for small children is not so apparent in many towns whore the Kinderbewahranstalten are open till evening. But where, as in Basel, they shut at 4 o'clock, some further provision is obviously necessary in the case of children whose mothers are at work. It is probable that Horte for small children will soon be opened in Zurich also.

There are at present four Horte for children between three and six in Basel, accommodating about 40 children each. They are supported by the Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft, and are held in the same buildings as the Kindergartens. The Hort is open as a rule from October to March, between the hours of 4 and 6.30 p.m. It is under the charge of one of the kindergarten teachers, who receives 2½ francs or 3 francs an evening. The children play games, and amuse themselves with toys. They get bread and sometimes milk at 4 o'clock. The children attending a Hort are not necessarily the children who attend the Kindergarten in the same building, as the Hort serves a whole district and is intended only for the poorer children.

None of the Kleinkinderanstalten visited in Basel offered anything remarkable in the way of building or equipment. The whole system is excellently organised and supervised, but some of the buildings seemed to come far short, especially in sanitary matters, of the standard laid down in the official regulations. These regulations indeed would appear at present to be rather a counsel of perfection, and are not strictly obeyed in every detail.

(11) GENEVA*


The general regulations for the infant schools in Geneva have already been given (see page 218). These Schools are open in the morning from 8.15 to 11, and in the afternoon from 1.15 to 4. Entrance takes place four times a year, viz., after the summer holidays, in October, January, and after the Easter holidays. The holidays are the same as in the elementary schools. Classes may not exceed 40. Poor children are fed in winter, from November till Easter, either free or for a payment of 4 sous a day. The classes are medically inspected every two months.

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The following extract from the Budget of the Canton of Geneva for 1906 gives the cost of salaries in the infant schools in the town and canton of Geneva in that year:

Ecoles Enfantines*

Training of Teachers

Free courses of training for teachers in the écoles enfantines are conducted in connection with these schools.† Candidates have to pass :

(a) A preliminary examination to show that their general education has reached the stage of the third class of the école secondaire et supérieure des jeunes filles.

(b) A competitive examination for admission to the special training. Candidates must be between 17 and 30, and of Swiss nationality. The examination includes French composition, reading and discussion of a literary extract, recitation of poetry, the working out on the black board of a problem in simple arithmetic, singing, a simple sketch from nature, and a page of hand-writing, the examination may only be attempted twice.

(c) Successful candidates then enter upon a special training course (le stage), which takes place partly in special classes in the infant schools (classes d'application), partly in normal courses on education in general, and the methods of Froebel. The final examination consists of a composition on some educational subject, and the conducting of a class, including lessons, games and occupations, according to the programme of the écoles enfantines. Successful candidates receive the certificat d'aptitude á l'enseignement dans les écoles enfantines, which the Council of State demands from all teachers in the infant schools.

*From Budget du Canton de Genéve pour l'année 1906, Section VI: Départemnt de l'Instruction Publique.

†See Réglement concernant les examens et le stage des aspirantes aux fonctions de Mâitresse et de sous-Mâitresse dans les écoles enfantines Geneva, 1905.

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Crèches or Krippen exist in most German and Swiss towns, and form as a rule a distinct class of institutions apart from the Kindergartens or Bewahranstalten. Generally speaking children are admitted into the Krippen from the age of from three to six weeks until the end of the third year, and though occasionally they may be kept until the compulsory school age is reached, children over three do not properly come within the sphere of the Krippe. In most cases they pass at the age of three from the Krippe into the Kindergarten or the Bewahranstalt. Krippen in Germany, and in German-speaking Switzerland, are not municipally organised or supervised, though they may receive grants from the municipality. They are supported always by private charitable societies. The number of such institutions varies greatly in the different towns. In Leipzig, for instance, there are none at present, those which previously existed having been given up, as the demand for them was so small; Munich, on the other hand, has some eight Krippen in the city itself, besides others in the suburbs; Dresden has four; Frankfort, about six; Cologne and Düsseldorf one each; Zurich, four; Basel, five; and Geneva, four. As no register appears to be kept of the Krippen generally it is not possible to give the total number of children received in them in any one town.


The rules of the Krippe are much the same everywhere. The average age of admission is six weeks, though in some cases much younger children are received. It is not considered desirable, however, to take infants of a few days into the Krippe, except in cases of absolute necessity, as it encourages the mother to work sooner than is advisable for her health. The Krippe is intended only for children whose mothers are at work, and is open from 5.30 or 6 a.m, till the factories close in the evening, or, in some towns, till 8 p.m. The charge made is generally 20 pf (about 2d.) a day, in Switzerland from 20 to 30 centimes, and a reduction is allowed if more than one child attends from the same family. In some institutions a lower charge is made for nursing mothers who are able to visit the Krippe during the day. In Frankfort, for instance, a nursing mother who comes once during the day is charged only 10 pf., and if she comes twice her child is received free. As a rule, however, few mothers are able to visit the institution by day. In nearly every institution free places are given. Illegitimate children are also generally received; if a regulation to the contrary appears among the rules of the Krippe it does not seem to be kept very strictly.

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The Krippen are in most cases under the charge of Sisters (Catholic or Protestant), often with voluntary helpers. In nearly every case the Sister is trained in the management and care of infants.


When the children arrive in the morning they are completely undressed and put into clean clothes. The infants are bathed daily, the older children twice or thrice a week. Infants are fed every two or three hours with milk and rice or barley water, according to the directions of the doctor attending the Krippe, the older children get milk and bread in the early morning, dinner about 11 a.m., sometimes with meat twice a week, sometimes only of milk-food, milk and bread again in the afternoon, and in some institutions a further meal of soup before leaving. In some institutions, too, it is the custom to give the mothers properly prepared milk to use during the night, and also a supply over Sunday, as it is found that the children suffer from the change of food. The older children have all a two hours' sleep after dinner, and the rest of the time they are amused with toys and games; Kindergarten occupations are also employed in some cases. The children are as much as possible in the open air, a garden being an essential part of every well-equipped Krippe.


No general rules can be laid down as to the municipal grants received by the Krippen, as these vary considerably. Nor is it possible except in a few instances to give the cost of such an institution per child per year, as the accounts are often not given in detail. A few examples are to be had, however. Thus, in Frankfort in 1905-6, the cost in three Krippen, with an average attendance of 28,23 and 14 children, was respectively 68 pf., 73 pf. and 93 pf. per child per day; in Munich, six Krippen were maintained at an average cost of 60 pf. per child per day; in Zurich, the cost per child per day for three Krippen, attended on an average by 68 children, was 1 fr. 09 cts.; the cost of a crèche in Geneva, attended altogether in 1906 by 93 children, was 1 fr. 04 cts. a day.


The following notes of visits paid to Krippen in Frankfort and in Basel describe the latest developments in the way of housing and arranging those institutions.

(1) Krippe at Frankfort

This Krippe is lodged in a flat in a colony of workmen's dwellings, just above the Kindergarten described on page 225. It accommodates 60 children under the management

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of two Sisters, with a cook and a washerwoman. Voluntary helpers also give some assistance with the older children. The rooms consist of a receiving room, where the children are taken in on arriving and undressed, their own clothes being hung in string bags; a bath-room with two large zinc baths and one small one, all raised; a large play-room and an infants' room, as well as a kitchen and offices. There is further a covered glass verandah where the older children play. Some of the fittings of this Krippe are very practical. In the bath room, for instance, there is a sort of dresser with a ledge that puts up, on which the babies can safely be laid for dressing. In the play-room a kind of low sloping wooden locker runs along one side of the wall, and on this mattresses covered with dark American cloth are laid for the older children at sleeping time. When not in use the mattresses are kept inside the locker. The play-room also contains at one end circular wooden forms, surrounded by a railing. The babies' room is very dainty, as the cots, hung on wheels, are covered with white piqué, and have curtains of pink and white muslin. (The curtains, however, had been condemned by the doctor as unsanitary, and he preferred plain unadorned cribs of white enamelled iron.) The cupboards hold a plentiful store of clothes and linen, tied up with ribbons in the neat German way. The babies in this Krippe wear jerseys or little jackets knitted in white cotton, the older children suits of thick striped calico, pink and white or blue and white, according to the sex. There is also a good supply of toys. Sanitary arrangements are excellent and the play-room and verandah beautifully airy and sunny.

(2) Krippe in Basel

The latest institutions of this kind in Basel are built on lines of which the following Krippe is an example. In this building the entrance from the street leads into the courtyard or garden, which has a covered shed at one end. Here the perambulators in which the children are brought by the mothers are stored till the evening, and here the children are received. A door leads from the shed into the bath and reception-room, so that the children never enter the other rooms in their home clothes. These latter are stored for the day in a cupboard, and are disinfected with formalin once it week. Out of the bath-room opens a covered glass verandah which serves as play-room, and out of this again a sleeping-room with cots for the bigger children. Then comes the infants' room with small wicker cots like clothes baskets on wheels. This opens into a passage, into which the private entrance gives. On the other side of this passage are the kitchen, wash-house, bath-room and lavatory for the staff, and larder.

(For specimen regulations and tables of expenses of Krippen, see Appendix 44.)

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In general it may be said that we have less to learn from Germany in regard to institutions for young children than is the case in other departments of her social and educational work.

A comparison of the institutions provided in the two countries is however difficult, owing to their different nature. In this country by far the greater number of children under school age who attend an institution at all attend an elementary school, and the number of children thus provided for is much greater than the number of children provided for in institutions in Germany. Unfortunately the latter number cannot be reckoned exactly. According to the statistics given in Appendix 87 the total number of children between three and six attending institutions in Germany in 1901-02 was about 19,117; in England and Wales in that year there were 613,473* children under five attending school. The admission of children under five to the schools in this country seems to have been carried out on no very definite policy, either social or educational, although the modern institution of "babies' classes", containing some of the best features of the Kindergarten, has no doubt given a certain educational value to the attendance of very young children at school. In Germany the whole movement for the care of young children has been based on much more definite aims - the negative aim of providing shelter and wholesome surroundings for the children of the poor, and in the Kindergartens, the further positive aim of developing the faculties of the young child in accordance with his age and nature. We have nothing to compare in this country with the very large number of institutions, maintained by private charitable societies, which in Germany take charge of children between three and six; for our day nurseries are few in number, and belong more to the class of institutions known as Krippen in Germany, where they are also not very numerous.


As far as the method of handling the children and the nature of the occupations are concerned, this country appears to be quite abreast of modern German ideas. It is now generally recognised here that the methods and subjects suitable for older children are often very unsuitable for children under five, and in the special "babies' classes", time-tables are followed from which formal instruction in the three R's is altogether excluded, and which are quite as good as anything to be found in Germany. Where German institutions are perhaps superior is in the general absence of anything of the set school-room, owing largely to the substitution of tables and chairs for fixed benches, and in the greater elasticity of the time-table. The duration of any particular occupation is left largely to the discretion of the mistress, and in the summer and fine weather the whole time-

*This number included 2,484 under three. The numbers in 1905-6 between three and five had fallen to 497,643.

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table is either modified or set aside altogether, to allow of out-of-door work or free play in the garden, or walks when the country is near. Rigid discipline is never insisted upon, and the relation between children and teacher (who is always addressed as Tante) seems everywhere of the happiest. Talking is allowed within limits, and the healthy noise that arises from the playground proves that discipline is not unduly repressive. Much attention is paid to the social side of life. As in all German institutions, public or private, the Christmas festivities form the crowning point of the year, and opportunities are taken at these of providing the poorer children with clothes; there are also many small excursions and treats in summer. Elternabende, too, evening meetings with parents, for discussion and explanation of the work, are known in the Kindergartens as well as in the ordinary schools. In all these ways home and institution are drawn together.


One point that emerges very clearly from the inquiry is the great weight laid in Germany on special training for the care of young children. This extends as we have seen not only to those in charge of institutions, but also to private nurses and nursery-governesses, and to individual mothers. In regard to institutions there exists in Germany (as also in America) a special class of teacher for young children, such as we do not know in this country. It is possible that the institution of some such class here might help to bring about the much needed reform of the reduction of the size of classes, as far as the infant room is concerned; it would in any case seem to be needed if "babies' classes" are to continue. What has been said as to the importance laid on training applies also to Switzerland. The organisation of all institutions for young children in that country, both public and private, under women inspectors, as carried out in Basel and Zurich, is thorough and sensible.


It should be noted that in Germany the Kindergarten is carried further on in the child's life than with us, and that as the compulsory school age in that country starts with the end, instead of the beginning of the sixth year, definite formal instruction begins, generally speaking, a year later than in England. It is possible that some modification of the curriculum in the first year of school life might be introduced with advantage into some of our infant departments, especially in places where no "babies' classes" exist, and where there is thus a certain proportion of children under five in the infant room itself. The problems connected with the linking on of the Kindergarten to the school have not as yet received much general attention in Germany (see Appendix 40 (3)), and in that country, as elsewhere, there is some difference of opinion as to the value of the Kindergarten as a preparation for the ordinary school. It is urged against the Kindergarten that it

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tends to deaden the children's interest in intellectual work, and in its favour that both the moral training, in the way of discipline, and the mental training are an excellent preparation for school work. It should be added that in Germany, as in this country, real Kindergarten training, "conscious nurture of the free self-activity of childhood", is often made impossible by the excessive size of the class allowed to one teacher.


In the matter of buildings the average institution in this country, whether "babies' class" or day nursery, is probably as well housed as the average institution in Germany or Switzerland; in sanitary matters, indeed, our standard is higher. On the other hand we seem to have nothing so good in the way of building as the best and newest of the German institutions. And in one point all foreign institutions are superior to ours. All of them possess some sort of a garden or playground with a covered play-shed. These playgrounds are really pleasant places, always containing trees, frequently flowers, and small plots for children's gardens. Creepers grow upon the walls, and the sun often shines into the Kindergarten through a green frame of vine leaves. Few of our private institutions have gardens at all, and our school playgrounds are generally lacking in any of the qualities of a garden; and though it would be impossible for children in this country to be so much out of doors as on the Continent, still, we might he more prepared than we often are to take advantage of fine weather when we have it. At any rate, the provision of a garden should be aimed at, wherever possible, in the planning of a day-nursery, and education authorities might consider the question of a separate playground for the smallest children, which would be always at their disposal.


There is one other important point in which foreign institutions, as well as elementary schools generally, are very superior to our own, namely, in the much greater cleanliness and tidiness of the children attending them. The regulation that children attending a Kindergarten must be provided with a clean pocket-handkerchief, though it may seem a small matter, is significant of the high standard of personal cleanliness set and obtained in Germany and Switzerland. A pocket-handkerchief in any condition is probably an article of dress unknown to large numbers of children in our poorer elementary schools. The general impression given by the children in the Kindergartens and Bewahranstalten was one of clean hands and faces, neat pinafores, and tidy heads. There were no bare-footed children, except in summer, when bare feet are a matter of comfort and convenience. Nor were there any visible signs of neglect

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in the way of dirt and rags. It is true that the very neglected children would probably not be brought to a Bewahranstalt at all, but there was no evidence in the streets of the poorer quarters that such children exist to any extent, though the reports of charitable societies, bear witness to a certain amount of social distress. Something is due no doubt to the efforts of those in charge of institutions in regard to this matter, but the chief credit for the high level of cleanliness and neatness must be set down to the undoubtedly higher sense for these things which prevails in the poorer sections of the population abroad as compared with those in our own country.

The children in the municipal Kindergartens in Germany and Switzerland, it may be added, do not share in the weekly compulsory bath, which is a feature of both German and Swiss elementary schools. The buildings in all cases are kept scrupulously clean.

M. G. MAY.

April, 1908.

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Appendices (image-only pdf file - 12.1mb)