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.
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.
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