Posted by: eileenandrory | June 8, 2009

Daycare or Not

I admit, I have to be exceptionally careful when talking to people about daycare.  You see, I believe its little more than the contracting out of your parenting responsibilities.  Why have kids when you can’t be bothered raising them.  And, who is to say that your child will get better care from someone who is paid as opposed to someone who LOVEs them.  I know who I would rather be looked after by.  So many people say they can’t ‘afford’ it while they sup their lattes, read their weekend paper at their local cafe.  What can your child afford?  I admit there are plenty of people forced by circumstance to put their children into daycare.  But plenty more who think they are forced, really are not.  Do you ‘really’ need that big car?  Do you ‘really’ need the big house with the over sized mortgage?  How about thinking about what your kids need rather than your wants.  Some people might be surprised that I take such a harsh line on this one – perhaps that’s because here I feel that I can tell it like I see it.  

If you are shocked or offended because you have put your children into daycare then I ask you this question – would you still have put them into care had the government paid YOU the subsidy they pay to your childcare to look after your children.  No, I think not.  And who is better qualified to look after your children than you.  It’s time to stop tip toeing around the issue and think about the children.  What sort of community do you want to live in?  What sort of values do you wish your children to have – yours or the corporate value of a Daycare company?

E xx




  1. Gosh you are very brave with this one Eileen, but you know how I feel about it. I get so so frustrated when I hear mum’s say that they have to go back to work, when they don’t really. It’s quite easy to ‘do without’ once you get used to it. It’s only a short time in their precious lives that they are home with us before going to school.

    Good on you for posting this 🙂

    • Thanks Jo, its inspiring to get replies like yours. I admit to having felt a bit down about the responses I have had to my belief, but hey, that’s what it’s like being out there, almost on your own. It’s like it’s the ‘uncool’ thing to say. I know that I am doing the right thing, and I know that it is the right way to parent our children. What angers me is that people freely admit to me that they suffer from guilt when they send their children to daycare yet they do not stop to examine that guilt. They don’t even stop to think that there is another way. What it must be like to carry around ‘bags’ of guilt every day I cannot imagine. Perhaps that is why they are so vociferous in reponse to me and others like me. Anyway! Thought I would say I ADORE your blog, and am so jealous that you are so very very talented – I will be directing people your way for inspiration 🙂

  2. I love my boy (22 months – so still under 2) but if I had to look after him all day every day I would lose my mind, and he would end up watching way too much TV. When my girl, now 6, finally qualified for free daycare our time together was much more ‘quality’ time and much less of me shunting her out of the way so i could clean the house. i could clean when she was at daycare and play with her when she was home. Same thing applies now with my boy.

    Daycare is not always and exclusively good only for crap parents. Good parents need time out too. There is also the excellent option of homebased childcare – like the Anglican childcare service. With a 4 – 1 ratio it’s just like they are with a ‘trusted friend’, or part of the family.

    If the Govt paid me to stay home and look after my kids I don’t think I’d be happy. I like that if I forget to get the puzzles out for a while, I know that Daycare hasn’t forgotten. I can’t stand paint in the house – or any messy play, but they get their fill at daycare. I don’t want to buy a swing, a slide or a sandpit. Daycare has all those so I don’t have to.

    I also attend playcentre once a week, with the toddler. I like playcentre, but not every day. I also value keeping in the workforce, having time to volunteer etc.

    Good blog – great opening for discussion.

    • I agree good parents need time out too. I wonder why we throw community out the window and never speak to our neighbours (although I admit I am guilty of this at times). If we built value driven communities then we would not have the need to have children farmed out to true strangers. Good parents, who know about attachment and who actually think about where their children are going generally make good decisions. However, we (and I include you here because you have clearly thought long and hard about it) are in the minority – and that’s not being snobby, that’s a fact.

      I have to agree with you about messy play, I am a clean freak and hate to have a messy house. I have compromised a bit with the kids, as you have to, but again I don’t engage in the full on messy painting play etc. That’s why I choose to take the kids to a Playgroup where they can happily indulge their need for mess and I can look on and not get stressed about the clean up.

      I can’t say I am the perfect parent, I can’t say that there aren’t times I shunt them out of the way to do the cleaning, I can say that it has been damn hard to stick to what I think and believe in and exceptionally hard with a journey through PND to add to the mix. What I can say is that I wish there was more support out there for new Mums & Dads. I wish there was more of a community out there so parents did not HAVE to go back to work and yet their heart pines to be with their children, so that the community raising the child with the parents did exist. One of the things I hear all the time, almost every day from parents is, ‘My Mum said things were so much easier when she had me, neighbours helped, there were more people around and there was more of a community’. In our efforts to become more ‘wealthy’ we have lost the true wealth. We have lost the wisdom of our elders, we have lost the community and in doing so we have lost so much more. So now with each child we learn again the truths that perhaps we could have learnt from our communities years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go back to a homogenized, white, 1950’s, picket fence community, rather I want to see a community that has core values, ones that include diversity and looks after everyone in it, no matter who they are.

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