I think it's so ridiculous.
It seems every few months there is some overly publicized study about daycare. Sometimes it says something positive about daycare. Sometimes it says something bad.
I think unless it is shown that daycare has a 75% chance of turning your child into a crazed serial killer, we really don't need to know about it.
What is the point? Except to make us feel guilty. Or make us worry. Or make us feel superior because we stay home with our children.
Do parents have a choice about putting their kids in daycare? Oh yes, they do, some would argue. But it's kind of like the choice of "You can either eat your greenbeans or not eat anything at all." It's not a REAL choice.
A real choice would be you can eat your greenbeans, an apple, or some carrots. That is a fair choice.
A real choice about childcare would be
You can take 18 months off or work and stay home with your baby with 80% of your salary. Or you can send your child to a free HIGH quality daycare.
The real current choice is:
A) send your child to a very expensive, but low quality daycare. Be torn in two directions. The boss wants you to stay late. The daycare wants you to pick up your child because he's barfing all over the carpet.
You never get the promotion because in order to achieve that you need to work 15 hours a day.
B) Stay home with your child. Make financial adjustments. Not too bad. You don't need to go out to dinner every weekend. You don't really need two cars. You can move into a smaller house. Stop going on vacations. You don't need a career even though it's what you wanted to do your whole life. Being with your child should fulfill you enough. Who cares that everyone will look down at you at cocktail parties and give you the patronizing "Oh, motherhood is the most important job in the world." Uh, but let me go talk to someone more interesting.
And then your husband walks out on you and suddenly you are stuck looking for a job. Kind of hard when your resume has that big blank spot. Do you have any REAL skills? I mean obviously parenting isn't one. Because if it was one....if your type of work WAS respected, they'd be paying the daycare workers a higher salary. And if they had a higher salary, the daycares would be better quality.
So instead of spending moneys on these stupid studies, why don't they just pay daycare workers a high salary? What if daycare workers were paid the same amount as doctors? It would be a highly competive job. Daycare workers would be well trained and have college degrees. People would be fighting over the jobs. Children would be taught by the creme of the crop.
Childcare and parenting would be a TRULY respected job.
I've been a teacher.
And I'm a mom.
I am so sick of hearing how parenting is the most important job in the world. Or how teachers are so important.
Money speaks more than empty compliments.
I am so sick of advice thrown at parents. Or worse...all the warnings. Wash your child's hands frequently or they'll get the flu. Don't wash your child's hands too much or they'll end up getting diabetes or asthma.
They should throw money instead.
Put more money into daycare.
And pay parents to stay home with their children for the first few years.
Then parents truly WOULD have a choice. Put their kids in a wonderful daycare or stay home with them for awhile.