The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian have each published prominent articles on child care in the last 2 days.
Starting with the Herald, it blurted out the headline “Childcare fine for babies”. Hooray, Hooray, Hooray for us all! A mother was interviewed and happily confided in that she no longer needed to feel “guilty” (hooray etc).
Now what caused all this commotion? A couple of studies. These found that a kid kept in a childcare since being a baby didn’t show any real difference in behaviour to a kid introduced into childcare as a toddler. The moral – don’t feel bad about putting babies in childcare.
Of course, the story didn’t consider any of the following:
· How is this information relevant to whether a child deserves to be cared for by its parents from birth?
· Assuming that all toddlers are the same after being in the prison yard for a few months, how does this justify putting them there in the first place?
· Are the child’s wishes relevant?
Next the Australian. This story was a bit more realistic and serious.
It turns out that kids whose parents split, and are required to live half their lives with each parent (called “shared care” in the biz), don’t find that any too secure (thank goodness someone worked this one out). According to the study, what gives security is a child feeling that the child’s and the parents’ lives are integrated. The report emphasised that parents need to understand that concepts like ‘equality of time’ (so as to create a perceived fairness between the parents) do not translate to the child’s world.
Isn’t there another debate going around where we hear adults crying about ‘equality’. It’s a pity that a national paper cannot write a similar story about that situation.