The paper presents the changeability of social expectations concerning childcare objectives at schools since 1970s until present time. It illustrates the most common forms and methods of assistance and support, exercised both on pupils and their families. It also points to childcare objectives at schools, such as: providing appropriate conditions for pupils' psychophysical development through meeting their biological and psychosocial needs by means of preventing, diagnosing and compensating for potential threats; providing ample opportunities for the development of pupils' interests and talents, which entails both support in finding appropriate institutions and material help when required. Childcare, as an important building block in the process of education at school, was also highlighted in the 1999 reforms, where it was pronounced to be of equal importance as teaching. It emphasized the importance of providing security both at obligatory and additional classes, as well as giving psychological, pedagogical and financial assistance when mandatory. Has the scope of assistance changed in comparison to pre-reform times, though? Three primary schools in Zielona Góra have been examined in search of a veritable answer to the question. The results reveal a considerable difference in the requirement to provide enhanced security within the walls of schools. Other than that, there are no prominent symptoms of change. Childcare at the schools mainly consists of alleviating pupils' financial problems and operates rather in emergency mode than in the form of triggering constructing activity on the pupils' part. In other words, schools accept the status quo and have no remedy for the poverty. Assistance directed at children with educational problems seems to display more varied forms of activity. It is delivered both by teachers of particular subjects and by such specialists as speech therapists and support teachers. Their efforts have every chance to imprint a more wide-ranging change, rather than provide solely some interim solutions. There is little effort in caring for gifted children, who are not perceived as urgent emergency, thus their needs are systematically neglected.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.