There’s an interesting review out this morning by our very own Andrea Mrozek (yes, Andrea has a life outside PWPL) on a British childcare report Canadians ought to know about. So many aspects of the childcare debate are neglected – including this one, which I had never thought about before reading Maggie Gallagher’s most excellent Enemies of Eros:
This is a perfectly obvious question and yet it is one we seldom ask. Where are the warmhearted substitute caregivers going to come from in a society which increasingly declines to celebrate children, child rearing, and mothering? Values are funny things. We cannot insistently warn women that childbearing is a potential trap and childraising a degrading preoccupation, and then expect the day care industry to be flooded with eager, commited, emotionally-giving workers.
Indeed. If we keep telling girls and young women that only social retards think staying home (or in a home-like setting) to care for snotty toddlers all day is a fun and worthwhile activity, where are we going to get the high-quality “educators” we need to make a national day care system be more than just a reasonably safe-ish place to park your kids?
The quote above is on page 102 of Enemies of Eros. The book was published in 1989, and it rings terrifyingly true in 2008. I only read it recently and if you haven’t read it yet I heartily encourage you to do so.
Andrea adds: It’s not much of a life, but I’ll concede your point. Anyway, I felt encouraged reading that British childcare study… Because it says women want to care for their kids. And cost is not a factor inhibiting them from using daycare: It’s values and ideology, as per the report.
The other takeaway from that UK childcare report is this: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT trust executive summaries. I was shocked to see how the UK government had concealed valuable results of their own surveys.
Tanya adds: Hmm… warmhearted substitute caregivers are more likely to come from a society that celebrates children. To celebrate them, a society needs to be having children, I’d say. Is this why, every time I meet an actual super-nanny (by super-nanny, I’m referring to one who hugs and kisses, dotes on and teaches), she’s actually not a Westerner? She’s from a country with a healthy population pyramid, like the Philippines.
Has anyone looked at our population pyramid lately?
Pointing out the obvious, it does NOT look like a pyramid.