There's a *fun* article in the Boston Globe this week - The Daycare Squeeze.
Yeah, it's on a subject - the (financial) costs of daycare - that I'm thoroughly uninterested in - heck, if it was FREE I'd still be vehemently against daycare! But still, the comment section was fun to read. Outsourcing parents and insourcing parents simply do not get along, at all!
Of course, you'll never hear anyone say *you know, I daycare my kids but don't think it's good for them at all...*
No. Invariably they have to spin it positively, for those nebulous *socialization* reasons:
Childcare is expensive, however if you find the right provider/center, it's an investment in your child's future. I am blessed to have a wonderful in-home childcare provider, who is struggling to keep her head above water, just as I am, but doesn't skimp at all in what she provides my 2yr old in such a great learning environment!
Both my husband and I work full-time, standard 9-5 hours. We use a combination of a nanny and family daycare. Definitely not cheap, but cheaper actually than many daycare centers. Would suggest looking at the immigrant community for baby sitting services. You can still find someone legal, but you'll get lower rates and your child will learn a second language for free.
My wife and I are around 30 years old and we have a 7 month old son. I can personally speak for this age group from experience. I don't know anyone who is having children in teh Boston area, who don't have some special circumstance allowing them to do so. Either they are lucky enough to work from a home office, have family very close, or have serious family money. The cost of childcare is a national problem...
I pay more per month on day care than I do for Rent; However, if either one of us stayed home rather than work, we couldn't afford the bills. The extra income is more than the daycare cost so we have no choice but to both work in order to pay the bills. Those who think its easy to do it with one income clearly don't realize what average people earn (even college educated). I will admit we can't afford to have a second child anytime soon due to the high cost of daycare; However, the benefits of having a good day care are well worth it. Having my son socialized around other kids at a young age is invaluable...
We have tried in-home care and family day care. As other comments have noted, the difference in social skills for our son in day care and in-home care is significant. He is much better in social situations after going to day care. The career gap by taking time off can also be a stumbling block. Although we are just breaking even with day care costs and salary it makes sense to get through the early years by putting our kids in daycare.
A disturbing trend in society and in some of the comments here is the harsh judgment on parents. It has become a social past-time to judge parents and their choice. Parenting is difficult and each family weigh their circumstances and makes choices. I would personally appreciate more support from society.
That being said the solution to this problem can be much like the K-12 systems. Another globe article pointed out the increasing demand for Catholic pre-school. I believe we can have affordable day care by providing public pre-schools and daycare. There are qualified teachers and care providers and safe school facilities in our towns. The cost is then socialized and will reflect societies priorities with children. To state an old saying "It takes a village to raise a child".
As interesting as it is to hear the high and mighty stay at home families claim their kids are better off than daycare kids, the most recent studies have shown kids in childcare have a much easier time transitioning/socializing in school. Ever notice which kid at the playground is losing his head because he's forced to share?
My wife and I both work and have great jobs. We send our daughter to day care 4 days a week and one of us stays home on the other day. Both of our jobs are higher level and also offer us the flexibility of working from home every now and then. It is an online world and we can take advantage of that sometimes.
Our daughter is just over 2 and has been in day care since she was 6 months old. The day care center is amazing and is on my wife's corporate campus. Yes it is expensive ($1500/mo) but is worth every dime. Our daughter loves it, she loves her teachers, we love the quality of it. She learns so much there that we would just not be able to teach her if she were at home with us all day. She has friends and loves seeing them every day. When we go to parties and play groups on the weekends we can see the difference between the kids who go to day care and the ones who stay at home. The day care kids are much more adventurous and social; they play with each other, talk to each other, and share their toys. The kids who stay at home with mom all day tend to be shy and reserved, cry and hit when another kid wants to use their toys, and tend to not go far from their parents.
I don't know which comment made me laugh harder - the last one which asserts that daycared children are noticeably more *social* than parented children...
Or the self-justifying one atop that refers to daycare as an *investment* in their child's future!
I did post a couple of comments towards the end of the thread.
In one I included this zinger from a previous post - Daycare = Child Abuse:
Not only are the seeds of peer orientation sown in day care and preschool, but the fruit is already in evidence by the fifth year of life. One of the largest studies ever done on this subject followed more than a thousand children from birth to kindergarten. The more time a child had spent in day care, the more likely she was to manifest aggression and disobedience, both at home and in kindergarten. As discussed in previous chapters, aggression and disobedience are the legacy of peer orientation. The more they had been in day care, the more these children exhibited counterwill as indicated by arguing, sneakiness, talking back to staff, and failure to take direction. Their elevated frustration was indicated by temper tantrums, fighting, hitting, cruelty to others, and the destruction of their own things. These children were also more desperate in their attachment behavior: given to boasting, bragging, incessant talking, and striving for attention, as we would expect when attachments are not working.A great retort for any of these types of arguments on procreation, daycare, or homeschooling I've found is to simply agree:
Yeah, I don't think YOU should be having children.
Yeah, I don't think YOU should be at home raising the kids.
Yeah, I totally agree that YOU aren't qualified to be homeschooling your kids.