According to this article, daycare facilities across the country are seeing declining numbers as parents are pulling their children out because of inability to pay. The article outlines various strategies parents are utilizing instead, including rearranging schedules so that one parent can always be home for the children and turning to family members (particularly grandparents) to help out with child care. The attitude of the article is that this is all VERY BAD NEWS.
Huh? Children spending more time with parents and grandparents is a bad thing?
Granted, there are horror stories about parents who leave their children with unqualified people in unsafe environments or who even go so far as to leave their children in the car while they are working. But these are indicative of bad parenting, not a child care or economic crisis.
What I resent most of all is the child care "expert" in the video that accompanies the article who predicts dire consequences of children not being able to attend day care. Her argument is that somehow they will miss out on crucial early learning and that as a result they will be intellectually harmed for the rest of their lives.
Again, huh? This ridiculous argument assumes that children can learn nothing from their parents or other caregivers. Those of us who homeschool beg to differ, having found that the nurturing environment of the home, with teachers who love their "students" more than this world, is in fact the best possible learning situation.
I currently send my 5-year-old son to our church preschool. But I don't do it so that he can learn. I do it because it gives me a few hours several times a week to do things that are harder to do with a 5-year-old around and because it's fun for him. And in our case, because my husband is on staff at our church, tuition is free. If we had to pay for preschool, my son wouldn't be attending because we would not be able to afford it. It is a luxury, not a necessity.
My husband and I have been considering the state of the economy and what effect the President-Elect might have on our own financial situation. We are not optimistic. If it turns out that our tax situation changes to the point that it is not profitable for me to do the part-time work I am currently doing, I will quit and spend even more time with my children than I do right now. And you know, that might not be such a bad thing.