--> Getting It Right: Daycare or Mom: What's Best?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Daycare or Mom: What's Best?

In the numerous emails I have received since my column last month on the Conservative government’s Child Care Allowance, none struck a nerve so much as the one from a mother frustrated that her daycare costs aren’t covered 100% by the government.

So, instead of working, she “has” to stay home with her kids while her husband works alone in the paid workforce.

Fifty years ago, this letter never would have been written. But after decades of writers, media figures and government-funded advocates like National Action Committee on the Status of Women shouting on the airwaves, some women have bought the message that bringing kids into the world is something that can be done without sacrifice.

How ridiculous.

It is impossible to combine small children and a career without one or both suffering the effects. To pretend otherwise is to set up our daughters for failure at home or at the office.

The myth of universal, nationalized and state-funded daycare touted by the left is nothing more than a sop to those who don’t value the important work of mothers at home with their babies.

This is not politically correct of me – especially as a working mother of two – but I’ll say it anyway: unless it is not an option, children deserve loving care by a family member or close acquaintance until they can at least speak for themselves.

It may mean putting off buying the first house or the winter trip somewhere warm, but it is the least that our precious children deserve.

Before the angry letters start, I understand that sometimes there isn’t a choice and that many mothers must work for food and a roof over their heads. I’ve been there and it was very difficult.

However Statistics Canada research shows the majority of mothers want to care for their own children and, if that is not possible, prefer family do it for them. Failing that option, most choose small, home-run daycares.

If there was truly the crushing demand for daycare spaces, I can guarantee that supply would be created - look at the private clinics springing up offering knee surgery in another sacred cow busting move.

Let’s not forget that the provincial government subsidizes spaces for those that need the support. Parents who earn under $30,000 a year can apply for almost a full subsidy of their daycare fees and partial subsidies are available for higher incomes.

It is the height of lunacy to suggest that the 13% of kids in institutional daycare are the tip of hidden daycare demand and that a state-run and union-staffed daycare centre is where Canadian parents want their kids spending their first precious years.


As seen today in 24 Hours

14 Comments:

At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Sean P. Vancouver-Quadra said...

Erin,

Yes you are correct. Today's article is very politically-incorrect. Whether you get a backlash in emails is another question.

The Liberals and NDP are firmly committed to a national state daycare program, and I still feel that the said policy, tripled with the Tory cancelling of the gun registry, and the extension of Canada's presence in Afghanistan, will result in many women voting against the Conservatives.....They will not win a majority government next time!

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger kysmom said...

Personally I am disgusted with Ms. Airton's Article in today's paper, her so called attitude towards the need for childcare outside of the home as being a privilege/sacrifice not an entitlement is completely ridiculous and so biased towards her "conservative" point of view, I would like for her to trade lives with me for one day as a single mother with no family around to take on the day to day care of my child as I work to provide food and shelter for my child, saying that there is only 13% percent of children out there that need "institutional" daycare a point which is ridiculous and so untrue! my daycare cost right now are around $600.00 a month most of which is subsided by the government for the time being until the new conservative childcare act comes into play and then instead of qualifying for almost full subsidy I m going to get a check for a lousy $100.00 a month, I guess that means just more overtime for me to pay the difference which in turn requires more childcare for my daughter outside of the home please explain how this could possible make sense, I guess I could just quit my job and stay at home on Welfare, thus creating a bigger strain on the economy think about it Daycare subsidizing allow single mothers or low income families to go to work, instead of staying home but your right instead of giving me a subsidy its better that I take the $800 a month that welfare will give me oh and the $100 slap in the face from Mr. Harper and just stay home!!!

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger Erin Airton said...

Kysmom,

Not sure where you are getting your information, but the provincial subsidies aren't going anywhere.

You will have an extra $100 a month with this package.

There are some organizations spreading this false information about subsidies for low income families and it simply isn't true.

Cheers,
Erin

 
At 1:31 PM, Anonymous amom said...

Eric,

Thank you for having the courage to write today's article.

 
At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you do ANY research on this article other than using your personal opinions?? The waiting lists for licensed group daycares are overwhelming in this area.

To compare daycares with private clinics is absurd. Daycares would not be springing up all over the place with demand. There is not near the money to be made with daycares as there is in private health clinics.

I am a single working mom that HAS to work outside of the home, I am not saving for a winter trip somewhere, I am looking to pay the basic bills associated with living. I had my children on 4 wait lists for licensed group daycares in my area for over a year before getting a call back from one of them. I am a professional working woman and need a daycare that will never call in sick on me or go on vacation, this is why I cannot use a mother that stays at home with her kids in a family run daycare. Though even the family daycares have waiting lists, as I discovered when looking for alternate sources of childcare.

I no longer qualify for daycare subsidy, but I used to work for $11 an hour, daycare costs were $850 for both of my children and subsidy covered almost $450. I was "fully subsidized" at that point but excuse me there is a difference between fully subsidized and fully covered costs. You make it sound like the government is paying the full costs of people’s daycare, this is not the case.

Of course I wish that I could stay at home with my children on a full time basis. But with today’s rising costs of living it is necessary for most to work outside of the home. I am in that group of individuals that doesn’t have close family and friends to watch my children. I choose not to got the route of a family run daycare because I don’t feel that a mom on her own with 6 kids running around is going to be able to watch those children adequately. At some point she is going to have to go to the bathroom, make food, answer the doorbell and there is no one there to back her up as there is in daycare centres. Basically I feel that there needs to be options for all people. Not all of us have the same needs and circumstances.

But no matter what there are waiting lists for all forms of daycare, did you try calling any to see the wait times before writing this article??

 
At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article. Parents get the enjoyment of their kids. Why am I expected to go to work, pay taxes, and have it used to pay child care for someone eles's kids. If you can't afford kids have you ever heard of birth control!!!

Nothing is free, everything costs and you can see the unions moving in once a national program gets up and running to double how much everyone gets paid. The proof of this is our hospitals and the outrageous pay those people are getting while the public waits to have surgery.

Mike

 
At 2:30 AM, Anonymous Larry said...

Is a good column.Is important moms and dads build a history with their kids. When people say they want the government to pay for their kids, instead say you want the tax payers to pay for your kids. Government is intended to keep order in society.If you want the government to pay for ones own doings than that is a socialist government.The more government pays the more dependant the citizens become for big government.Conservative helps people in real need and opens oppertunity's for those who want to work.Left-wing governments such as the NDP and the Fed-Liberals will pay with your money but the result is this gives government more control and power over it's citizens, they run the social programs ect.,. Plus higher taxes to pay for these social programs contributing to even more country financial debt, more interest needs to be paid too for the debt which leads to a lesser economy creating less business and less employment.In other words a major left-wing society disater.

 
At 8:02 AM, Blogger Mitch said...

I think this 'culture of entitlement', that has permeated the West, can be attributable the state usurping traditional societal support organisms (i.e. family, community, etc). The welfare state has removed the inherent obligations between family generations. The state is expected to subsidize the rearing of children, the care of elderly parents, etc. Once these ties and obligations are diluted by a leviathan state, it corrupts the fabric of a society that has existed for centuries, and replaces obligations and dutys with entitlements.

 
At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

NAC-is the National Action Committee Status of Women, a feminists pro lesbian group funded by the government-tax payers unfortunately.{Whereas- "Real Women of Canada" supports women without the blaming of men such as NAC often slighly does.Real Women also supports the traditional family but is not funded by the government-go figure hey}.

 
At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone knows it’s true… but almost everyone’s afraid to say it: Daycare institutions don’t care about or love your child like you do.

For years, many experts have been warning us about the detrimental consequences for children placed in day care.

This website contains an extensive index of publications about daycare from well-known child development authorities, psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, public policy analysts, sociologists, daycare providers, and others.

This collection of day care information seeks to counterbalance the relentless pressure placed upon parents to abandon their children to these impersonal institutions.

These findings show that no amount of legislation, government funding, money, early childhood training, regulations, or inspections can make a day-care love your child.
http://www.daycaresdontcare.org/

Bernie

 
At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erin,
Thank you for writing the article on daycare which appeared in the May 18 edition of 24 hours. Thank you for using common sense rather than political correctness. I appreciate the former. You also seem to have inadvertently shed some light for me on the policies of the Conservative government. I think we've all been hypnotized by the Liberal PC-talk for far too long. After reading your article, I'm more pro-Conservative than I was. Keep up the great work.
Bill,
Vancouver

 
At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public Schools are Evil
http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Family/public_schools_are_evil.htm

Bernie

 
At 8:01 AM, Blogger Jen Ridler said...

What you say with regards to daycare versus care by a parent or family member could not be more true! I have a toddler and I want to stay home with her, but as a family we have made a choice that I work. Two days a week she is with her grandparents and three days a week she is in a daycare. It is very obvious that she enjoys the days with grandma and grandpa much more than the days at daycare.
As far as the government paying for the daycare of our children, I would like to remind people that the money that the government uses to fund projects like this is taxpayers money. It comes from your pocket one way or another. Personally, I would rather decide where my money goes than having the government decide for me, especially with regards to child care.
Another point I would like to make is that people who have chosen not to have children or can't have children should not be required to foot the bill for those of us who have made the personal choice to have children.
Bottom line, parents should have the choice with regards to their child care and that chice should not be funded by the governement!

 
At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erin,

I agree that there is a feeling of entitlement permeating our society. I am a stay at home mom I choose to raise my kids. I don't own my own house, i don't have car payments, we only buy vehicles we can pay for outright. That means that we drive what we can afford, no new vehicles here. We scrimp and we save. If I choose to work out side the home I'm sure that our costs would increase along with our income. I had a friend ask me how I could stay at home. As I looked around her brand new home, and looked out the window at two brand new vehicles... I explained.

Live with in your means.

 

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