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The Forum > Article Comments > Can we afford quality childcare? > Comments

Can we afford quality childcare? : Comments

By Daniel Donahoo, published 30/3/2005

Daniel Donahoo argues the quality of childcare our children deserve is unaffordable.

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I think the workplace should provide childcare. Obviously this may be harder for smaller businesses. Large companies, however, can easily afford to provide a childcare facility at their workplace. But this would of course eat into their MASSIVE profits!
Posted by davo, Thursday, 31 March 2005 5:32:20 PM
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Daniel is right the first 6 years of a child's life is crucial.

Starting a family was one of the catalysts that propelled me into starting my own business - ironic but it was the only way I could get the flexible hours I needed to both provide care and an income for my 2 children. There were few childcare centres to choose from in my area and I wasn't impressed with either the standards or the cost. Even poor child care would appear to be unaffordable.

But why should this be so? Our culture's priorities are skewed. It is all about profit, employees are no more than human equipment with their needs are human beings relegated into an inconvenience at best or even denied any validity at worst.

We all start as children - but the way our workaday lives are structured you'd think we sprang forth as fully formed adults. What happened to large companies providing child care for their employees? - plenty of them provide fully equipped Gyms.

Does good quality child care really have to be unaffordable? I don't think so - we just have to reconsider what we really value. The rate of pay a CEO receives in no way reflects the value he/she contributes to the company or to the community. These people are a drain on equitable pay for others who really contribute more to our well being whether we be children, adults, invalids or eldlerly.
Posted by Ringtail, Thursday, 31 March 2005 5:38:01 PM
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Ringtail & davo

I agree with your sentiments. Significant structural changes to our economic systems & values (especially within companies) could definitely see the provision of quality childcare to meet current demands. There are some companies setting good examples, but they are certainly in the minority.

Other communities are working with local government and companies to provide a range of other initiatives to improve the relationship between companies and their communities - Alcoa have done some interesting work in this regard.

My argument is with the current paradigm that insists upon a certain level (3%) of annual growth. This will continue to challenge formal childcare structures. The arguments must become more sophisticated, but are difficult to fit into an opinion piece.

Too often society places great emphasis on government and business providing where previously communities have been more capable (and consequently more in control) of basic support services.

The level of childcare in Australia has remained stable since the early 80s (hovering around 50%). What has changed is a move away from informal care to formal care.

I would argue this is a result of a weakening of community relationships and the general increase in social isolation that is occurring in our communities.

Informal care is a highly undervalued form of care. It provides a range of important developmental aspects to a child's life that institutionalised care can not: trips to the shops to observe social interactions that take place, learning how other families operate, building relationships with children of all ages (not just children in your room) and other subtle human experiences.

These discussions lead more towards a discussion about restructuring of our society to reflect those values that we really believe in. This is a mammoth task. This piece, like many I contribute, is asking that we begin to discuss these issues in greater depth. We must move towards positive solutions (as you suggest) rather than continually asking for government and others to throw more money at what is really just a symptom of a society that needs more significant change.

Thanks for your comments
Posted by Daniel Donahoo, Thursday, 31 March 2005 10:41:06 PM
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Mr. Donahoo wrote, "Childcare frees up adult workers to contribute to building the national economy by earning a wage."

Surely, he didn't mean to imply that stay-at-home mums (SAHM's) don't contribute?

Concerning the "national economy", back in 1920, G.K. Chesterton wrote:
If people cannot mind their own business, it cannot possibly be more economical to pay them to mind each other's business, and still less to mind each other's babies....Ultimately, we are arguing that a woman should not be a mother to her own baby, but a nursemaid to somebody else's baby. But it will not work, even on paper. We cannot all live by taking in each other's washing...

Mr. Donahoo also "questioned whether childcare is actually in our society's best interest.
Here's a daycare information website, Daycares Don't Care, that says it isn't:
http://www.daycaresdontcare.org
Posted by Judy Satin, Friday, 1 April 2005 11:26:57 AM
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olo donahoo childcare

Daniel Donahoo states 'The first six years of my childís development are crucial' then erroneously finds quality childcare as solution when it is further time for the already deprived parent-child life. This opinion may distress some readers.

More than most people think, realize or know the fundamental part of first 6 years of child development is a crucial but surprisingly lacking in information on the second level of our brain development after the Brain stem brain called the Emotional brain (or reptilian etc) on which base our intellectual brain or neocortex brain develops in our common mainstream knowledge and by media and surprisingly in basic science books which talks about the parts of this brain like the thalamus and amygdalla but do not talk about it as a complete entity that it is and capable of sensing then processing and responding and which is continuously active in every moment evident by the physiological changes that can be detected however hard the higher intellectual brain of the person may try to ignore or suppress it and the lie detector test is based on detecting this meaning the knowledge has been available for a long time.

The fundamental nature of this emotional brain becomes evident when we look at the food we choose to eat at a meal being basically decided at the emotional brain than the intellectual brain meaning usually you dont intellectually rationalize the scientific details to food before the meal on its merit of value but rather on how you feel to it or you would like.

Thats how basic the emotional brain functions that its like breathing meaning we are mostly not aware of it until something affects its normal function then all your attention and concentration becomes diverted to it like in drowning and this to emotional brain context is nervous breakdown after which the individual becomes mostly incapacitated.

Contd...

Sam
Posted by Sam said, Friday, 1 April 2005 12:11:32 PM
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However emotional brain manipulation is a great tool if a 'authority' wants submission of the individual with little reasoning to its authoritarian systems and example of this particularly is slaves where if their children were removed from their parents at a very early age then kept in a 'unemotional' environment and caused force development of the intellectual brain by pressure to learn non-emotive material like read and write before the emotional brain has developed and matured this leads to a high chance of a maladapted or arrested emotional brain with intellectual brain compensation which worse for individual but good for the authoritarian regime getting a malleable individual who would rather 'serve' than risk being emotionally stressed for which they are quite incapable of dealing with.

The child by nature is 'dependent' on its parents in the first 6 and till 9 years by which the emotional brain has developed and matured after which the intellectual brain development continues becoming more 'independent' and this is know from one fact the newborn has only 23% of the brain mass to when a adult which is the age of 21 when brain enlargement stops and this is unique in the mammalian kingdom for such long child dependancy on parent not just for care but to develop healthy emotional defense mechanisms while in the security of the parents care to learn on to effectively dealing with the environment by themselves.

So bottom line is in the the first 9 years of life a child needs to have its parents available who are dutifully performing their parental roles and be constantly there to care, protect and teach after which educational training for intellectual brain can continue and more time away from the parents as the child is now more independent and less dependent.

contd...

Sam
Posted by Sam said, Friday, 1 April 2005 12:16:45 PM
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