Lo and behold, other people seem to think the same. The following article goes so far as to call child care "abuse":
Childcare for babies is 'abuse', says author Mem Fox
August 31, 2008 02:35pm
PUTTING babies into childcare is a form of abuse, leading children's author Mem Fox claims.
Ms Fox, a children's literacy advocate and author of the best-selling Possum Magic, said she believed society would look back on the trend of allowing babies only a few weeks old to be put into childcare and wonder, "How could we have allowed that child abuse to happen?".
"I just tremble," she said. "I don't know why some people have children at all if they know that they can only take a few weeks off work.
"I know you want a child, and you have every right to want a child, but does the child want you if you are going to put it in childcare at six weeks?
"I don't think the child wants you, to tell the honest truth. I know that's incredibly controversial."
She said a Queensland childcare worker had told her earlier this year: "We're going to look back on this time from the late '90s onwards - with putting children in childcare so early in their first year of life for such long hours - and wonder how we have allowed that child abuse to happen".
"It's just awful. It's awful for the mothers as well. It's completely heartbreaking," Ms Fox said. "You actually have to say to yourself, 'If I have to work this hard and if I'm never going to see my kid and if they are going to have a tremendous stress in childcare, should I be doing it?'
"Babies have much higher levels of stress in childcare."
Fox, 62, who has a daughter Chloe, 38, said parents were sometimes distracted by "the trappings" of having a baby, such as designer clothing and decorated nursery.
"When they have the good house, the good car, the good job - we're talking about very advantaged people - they have everything and they think, 'Now we need a baby which we can dress up and make look perfect'," she said.
"But do they realise that child needs love more than anything else in the world? It needs love, time and attention."
The Australian Family Association (AFA) said it was "largely supportive" of her comments.
"She's right, large amounts of research are coming in showing that - particularly for children under two but also under three - childcare is generally likely to be harmful to them," AFA spokeswoman Angela Conway said, pointing to research from the US and UK.
The founder and director of CareerMums, Kate Sykes, slammed Ms Fox's comments as "irresponsible", saying many couples have no choice but to place their infant children into childcare.
"There's so many pressures these days on just being a good parent that having negative coverage on childcare like that is very frustrating for a lot of parents," she told AAP.
CareerMums is an online careers centre for working parents and also advises workplaces on retaining working parents.
Ms Sykes said there were some "really good childcare centres" that were "doing a huge amount" for children.
"Things are different these days," she said in response to the Ms Fox's comments.
"Over 65 per cent of families have both parents working and ... for a lot of people it's not about choice, it's because they have to.
"They both have to be earning money to pay off the mortgage."
Ms Sykes, who has a two-year-old and a four-year-old, said they had been in part-time child care since about eight months of age and "I think it does amazing wonders for their social skills".
"I don't see anything that's gone terribly wrong putting them into child care," she said.
The AFA said the association was "largely supportive" of Ms Fox's comments but the language used was "perhaps a little bit unfair".
"Childcare is not a good place for babies and we support her in that but we know that many families have elected to put very young children and infants into childcare because of serious economic pressures and ... we need to face up to that."
Ms Conway also said the childcare sector employed "strong marketing strategies" to convince parents children were better off in care "and large numbers of parents have been convinced that their children should be in childcare at least one day a week".
She said a solution to the problem was for the Government to redirect the money it provided to childcare providers to families so parents could afford to choose whether to remain at home or not, free of financial pressures. [What a joke! How about if the government, instead of "redirecting" funds, stopped taking away the money that it now gives to childcare providers from the families? Maybe if people weren't taxed like that, they could more easily afford to live on one income? What sense does it make to pay the government, so that they can give money to childcare programs, that you then end up paying for while you are at work because your taxes are so high?!? And why does this article capitalize the word "government? Have they really taken the place of God?]
A Federal Government census of childcare services released this year found 757 children were attending long daycare services for at least 60 hours a week in 2006. [Can you believe that? Most children ages 3 and under sleep 12 hours in every 24 hour period. That means that of the 84 hours/week spent awake, more than 60 are spent in the care of a complete stranger.]
A further 9426 children were in care for between 50 and 59 hours a week.
An Australian study that measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol in more than 100 children in childcare found children in centres with lower standards became more stressed throughout the day.
- With the Sunday Mail (QLD) and AAP
But even in the case of those women who "must" put their kids in daycare, the damage to the child and its relationship with its parent(s) is just as real and permanent. Maybe if girls thought about these things when they are young, they would be less likely to get pregnant out of wedlock and end up as single moms. They may have no other choice but to leave their baby in daycare, because jobs from home are rare and do not pay much.
Maybe young, single girls would think twice about dating or marrying a deadbeat who works 2 days a week and spends the rest of his time playing soccer with his buddies. No doubt, that same lazy jerk will expect them to put on a pair of pants, drop the baby off at daycare, and march off to work all day every day in order to support a lavish lifestyle in spite of his slothfulness. After all, that kind of guy needs toys such as big trucks, big TVs, every electronic gadget, fancy clothes, and let's not forget the booze and party life. When material things are the only impressive thing about yourself, I guess you have to get a lot of them.
No doubt, kids can be really annoying, and are certainly more work between the hours of 9 AM - 5 PM than just about any job I can think of. So if you don't like hard work, just don't get married and never have kids. But if you do, you will just have to stop being selfish and take responsibility for your actions. Children are a priceless treasure, but that doesn't mean there isn't a huge price to pay and countless sacrifices to be made to have them.