Most readers will not recognize the name Fred Rogers. Mention “Mister Rogers,” however, and most will immediately recognize a personality who has probably influenced more lives than have several presidents combined.
“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was the longest-running children’s program on public television, Rogers spoke at the Yale University Child Development Center, New Haven, Connecticut, in December 1988. That talk was edited for publication in Child Care ActioNews, a newsletter I receive through the Child Care Action Campaign. On several occasions in Current Contents, I’ve discussed child care.
Too little has been said and written about the role of men in child care. I feel that Rogers expressed his feelings on this issue so well that his published speech deserves wider promulgation. He not only deals with the roots of nurturing in all of us, but also with the need for men in professional child care as well as in education. To encourage greater participation by men in the teaching and caring professions, including nursing, salaries need to be adjusted so that men — as well as women — do not have to abandon such careers to achieve a reasonable quality of life for themselves.
Download the pdf file to read Mr. Rogers Speech.