June 18, 2024


Ana Veciana-Suarez’s column on child-care research is just that.

There’s so little that is sensible about this article that it’s hard to identify a point to pick on, but I’ll try.

“Yet, as a society we’ve failed miserably in keeping up with the times and providing better options for families, particularly those who can’t afford top care.”

Are we as families obligated to pay for someone else’s kids to have “top care”? No! If you have a child, you have assumed a virtual plethora of responsibliites. If you want your child to have top care, quit your job and provide it for him or her. Or prepare yourself for your responsibilities ahead of time by going to college and creating a successful career so you can afford to delegate your parental responsibilities to someone with the right stuff.

“…many working families with children younger than 13 put nearly 10 percent of monthly earnings toward the expense of child care.”

If the average day care runs about $500-600 per month, then we’re talking about people making $66,000 per year. If one is going to make a case for a handout, these are not the people who need it.

“And what do parents get for their money? Not always what they deserve.”

As Clint Eastwood once said, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it. If you’re not happy with your child care situation, try taking care of your own children. For many people, the marginal income earned as a result of dumping one’s issue into the system is barely worth having.

If one is concerned about one’s ability to provide for a suitable lifestyle of one’s children, the time prior to conception is the opportune moment to consider one’s options, responsibilities, and capabilities.

“Instead of concentrating on the same old debate about whether to have your kid in child care, let’s face the fact that it’s a need, and turn our research and money to making it better…That’s the real child-care debate. “

Genius, sheer genius. Except for the little problem of reality, I could almost agree. Improving the situation as Maria suggests by dedicating ourselves “To lowering child-staff ratio. To providing a clean, stimulating environment. To training new teachers and keeping experienced ones.” will do one thing: raise the cost of child care. All of these worthy goals cost money. Lots of money.

The fact is that child care is considered a second or third tier problem by the consumers of these services – parents. A better approach to the child care problem would be for people to manage their finances in such a way that they can raise their own children. This may mean driving an older car, watching a smaller television, or using an older PC, but that’s life.

Of course, if we do the things that Maria suggests and day care costs sky-rocket, people at the low end of the income spectrum will naturally turn to quitting work and raising their own children. Maybe Maria’s smarter than I gave her credit for. But I’m guessing this is not what she meant.


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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