is now being proposed by the Opposition in this state. It is one of their "new election policies".
"Get the children into day care and go back to work," they are telling mothers of young children.
I have some serious concerns about this. There is one full-time mother in this street. She has twin girls. She is not a "career mother". I don't know what she did before she married and had the twins. All she has ever told me is, "I don't have any qualifications to do anything." (I very quickly informed her she was qualified for motherhood and doing a good job in that role.)
The other mothers all work in different ways. One works from home three days a week. On the two days she is not there her parents are there one day, her in-laws are there on the other. Her son is now at school. Her daughter goes to pre-school for the three days she works but not for extended hours.
The mothers across the road from me are a paediatrican and and an occupational therapist respectively. They work at varying times. The occupational therapist has in-laws she relies on in school holidays but she and her husband have alternate arrangements during the term. The paediatrican and her husband have no relatives here but they have a long term child minder they trust and the two children like. It was hard work find her - and they have worked at keeping her. The arrangement will end when the younger child starts school in the new year.
The other children in the street are all school going age. Their mothers face all the problems of work-school-illness and more. I spoke to one yesterday after her child had fallen off the bike he is learning to ride. "Thank goodness' he hasn't broken anything. I don't have time for that. It's such a temptation to let him play on the computer when this sort of thing happens."
And I think that sort of remark says it all. Her husband was mowing the lawn at the back of the house. She was trying to deal with the laundry and house cleaning.
"It's pizza night," she told me, "I still need to cook for the rest of the week tomorrow."
She looks exhausted. The other mothers are tired too. They love their children but they have too much to do. Extended day care is not the answer to this. It may even add to their problems. Their children will still have to be fed, clothed, kept clean and "brought up". They will still be expected to supervise homework, go to parent nights, take their children to sporting activities on weekends and more.
At the same time other people are going to be teaching these children. This is the time to teach highly impressionable young children their letters and numbers and colours and "suitable" stories about social and environmental issues. This is where they will be indoctrinated into the politically correct thinking required of them as they grow up. Their days are already planned for them.
All this is supposed to be good for everyone. Perhaps it is but there was a lot of fun to be had making mud pies in the vegetable patch. Playing imaginative games outside without adult supervision taught most of us a lot more.
Your last sentence!!! And just “mucking around” with or without without others. And watching and “helping” adults at home or in the neighbourhood. All sorts of experiences are beneficial, including but not only preschool. Variety is valuable.
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