Paul Martin, Ken Dryden and Jack Layton (three 'old white guys' as Rona Ambrose so aptly put it) have decreed that in their 'Early Childhood Education' scheme, our kids are the beneficiaries of the wisdom that says children are better off being raised by the state, than by us.
Mr. Martin said recently that he was only providing what is necessary for the 'new reality' of two income families. Instead of making being a stay at home parent a viable or even preferable choice for families, we get the Nanny State.
A study by the Vanier Institute and the University of Lethbridge says that 90% of Canadians feel that ideally in two-parent households, one parent should stay at home with the children. 90% is not some slim majority.
The study determined that in fact, only 47% of kids are cared for by a stay at home parent. Less than half, but still far more than the media would have you believe. And of the other 53%, they are in 'some form of care' which I take to mean neighbours or relatives as well as formal daycare centres. Some of that 53% probably have moms or dads who work part-time or shifts, meaning the care is not full-day.
Government should be in the business of making it easier for families to raise their own children, rather than making it convenient for them not to.
Don't get me wrong. Women are more educated today than ever before, and sure, they want to use that education. But many, if not most women, are not putting their kids in daycare in order that they may go off to their careers as doctors, lawyers or politicians -- they are doing it so they can work as a clerk in an insurance company, or an office manager in an accounting firm -- because let's face it -- it isn't the doctors, lawyers and politicians who NEED daycare -- they can afford to hire nannies or to take a few years off to raise their kids and know their skills and education are still relevant in the world.
Those of us who need the choices are being told by those who don't. Instead of getting what we want, they are giving us what they think we OUGHT to want.
Most women want to rejoin the workforce at some point after having children, but that time-frame should be determined within a family, not by government edict. The tax system unfairly favours two income families and conversely, one income families are unfairly penalized.
By giving us 'Universal' daycare, the state is telling us that only wage earners are 'productive' members of society -- mothers and fathers who choose to stay at home with their kids are 'unproductive.' They are implying that state run 'Early Learning Centres' are a substitute for the love of a mom or dad.
The yearly price tag for this plan has not been talked about by the government, but daycare advocates and financial experts alike suggest $10,000,000, 000 (that's $10 Billion -- thanks to gullchasedship for the correction) per year to run a fully universal programme. But what will this social experiment cost in real terms? Families already face increasing burdens to their stability and on time together. Giving us babysitters in the guise of 'early education' is a cynical plan that usurps familial authority, obligations, rights, and even loyalty.
Mothers should have the choice to work outside the home and they should also have the choice to stay home with their kids. It's that simple. The key word is choice.
You shouldn't have to be rich to stay at home with your own kids.