ACDC: Action Committee for Decent Childcare
by the CWLU Herstory Editorial Committee
Committee for Decent Childcare (ACDC) grew out of the efforts of the
CWLU's Hyde Park Chapter. Despite the media distortion that feminists
were "anti-mom" or "anti-family", the women's liberation
movement raised family issues from the beginning. A number of CWLU activists
had children themselves and struggled with the problem of childcare
public appearance was a demonstration at a 1970 Chicago City Council
meeting. Since there was no city budget for funding childcare centers
and the notion of government funded childcare was still considered
a very radical idea, ACDC focused its efforts on changing Chicago's
overly restrictive licensing procedures. The unfair city licensing
procedures made it difficult to set and maintain childcare centers.
The City was forced to hold public meetings on the issue and ended
up allowing ACDC members to sit on a committee that helped revise the
city's unfair licensing regulations. It was a major victory for ACDC.
ACDC was influential
in efforts to increase funding for daycare on a statewide basis and
helped feminists at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle (now
UIC) to establish the Circle Children's Center. They organized a "baby-in"
at university administration offices complete with babies crawling around
on the floor to prove the need for childcare at the university.
issued a six point program that demanded 24 hour a day free childcare
in parent-staff controlled centers and that major institutions with
unused space donate it to community groups for childcare. These were
very radical demands, even for 1971, and the actual day to day work
of ACDC focused on winning short term victories. But by raising these
demands, ACDC helped to put childcare into the public spotlight.
despite the best efforts of ACDC and groups like it around the
country, President Nixon vetoed the Comprehensive Childcare Act of
1971. This set back efforts by grassroots organizations like ACDC to
establish a rational childcare system for working parents.
See also Action Committee
on Decent Childcare in our archive section