I have never put to paper my thoughts about something in a letter to the editor before... But a story that I have seen repeated 100x's in various forms graced the cover of a Wyoming paper this week. Something in the shade of "State Spending on Better Childcare". HMPH. Now here is the rant. I will be adding some stuff pertaining to the article but this is the rough idea.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I hope anyone who feels the same way as me will pick up a pen next time they see some article like the one I am responding to.
I am all for better childcare, quality childcare, whatever you want to call it. But the fact is I am TIRED of government touting it as an alternative to parenting. It seems to be that we as a society are promoting programs for children to attend on a daily basis earlier and earlier, thus shifting the emphasis from family to state/community/society. This is wrong on so many levels. And I ask myself, how can we develop free thinkers out of a generation raised by the government? I am not saying that there are families that don't NEED these alternatives. There are. But why this push to send kids into institutionalized settings?
I propose that if the state/federal government is really concerned about the well being of the next generation they should pay mothers to stay home with their children instead of paying for their childcare. In areas like the one I live in where the majority jobs are those that fall into the hourly worker at minimum wage category, the government could actually SAVE on paying moms their lost wages rather than paying for their childcare. An impoverished mom here in WY can easily get daycare for her children covered by the state as long as she is working. But, it is more likely than not the her work doesn't pay more than the 6-7 dollars an hour the state would pay for daycare for her two children. Who wins here?
Isn't there some way to help people without telling them to pawn their kids off on daycare providers? How about paying dads a livable wage? How about cheaper healthcare for families? How about special work at home programs sponsored by the state? The truth is I think the government in this country is set to assume that if you don't have a net worth that passes the federal poverty line you are some sort of slacker and your children would be better off at the daycare anyway. Maybe I'm just a cynic.