Jewish World Review
Oct. 5, 2000 / 6 Tishrei, 5761
Pay for your own day care
IN SAN DIEGO, they've turned the public schools into full-service
babysitters at a cost of more than $15 million per year. The program is
called "6 to 6." Every elementary and middle school student is eligible
for sun-up to sundown care. Well, why not? The kids already get
breakfast, lunch, Ritalin, and condoms in class.
Might as well give 'em dinner and a movie, to boot.
On a recent CNN report gushing over the San Diego program, a parent named
Paula Ball, whose child is enrolled in 6 to 6, said: "It gives you a little
more quality time at home. You're not so stressed and pressured to get all
this homework done. You can have a little more time to relax and enjoy your
child." What a sad and selfish sentiment. When I was growing up, some of
the highest "quality time" spent with Mom and Dad over the years was the
time spent doing homework – learning the alphabet, struggling over
multiplication tables, memorizing state capitals, sharing poetry, and
sweating over physics problems.
If you'd rather leave the hard work to someone else so you can "relax and
enjoy" your time at home, don't have kids. Go buy an aquarium instead.
Taxpayer-funded day care – don't you just cringe when the do-gooders call
it "free?" -- encourages drive-through, drop-off parenting. Subsidizing
this phenomenon cheats children, undermines family responsibilities, and
breeds resentment among childless workers who are forced to pay for costly
social services. Nevertheless, city, state, and federal government sources
cover an estimated 40 percent of the nation's child-care expenses. And new
tax-and-spending sprees for the children seem to be all the rage across the
-- Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore would add to the current federal
child-care tax credit by steering $38 million to families earning up to
$60,000 a year. Gore is also wildly enamored of creating universal
preschool programs, moving us one more step forward toward the village
collective system in China – where "quality child care" means handing off
your babies to the government before they can crawl.
-- Denver will vote in November on Initiative 1A, a 0.2 percent sales tax
increase that would generate $30 million a year to pay for subsidized day
care, before- and after-school programs, parenting classes, and public
health clinics (more Ritalin and condoms!) for all public schools.
-- In New York this year, the state earmarked $62 million in additional
subsidy funding for day care and New York City set aside $25 million to
build new child-care facilities.
-- In Seattle, the county council allocated $1.5 million to artificially
boost the salaries of day-care workers. In San Francisco, Mayor Willie
Brown set aside nearly $12 million to pay city child-care workers a
$9-an-hour minimum wage.
-- California, Florida, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and South Carolina
provide public support to round-the-clock child care centers, where parents
pay strangers to make sure their kids brush their teeth in the morning, do
their homework in the afternoon, and say their prayers before bedtime. In
Orange County, Calif., and Connecticut, Internet companies provide
high-priced Webcam services to schools, preschools, and child-care centers
so parents can monitor their tykes on the computer. Parenting-by-modem.
Can we sink any further?
I don't want to be forced to pay for other people's retirement and health
care. In turn, those taxpayers shouldn't be forced to pay for my
three-month-old daughter's child-care expenses. I choose to stay and work
at home. It's the best 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year
child care arrangement on the planet. More parents would be able to make
this same choice if our caring government would stop creating so many
cradle-to-grave benefits that require higher taxes and longer working
Nanny State caretakers say they merely want to help working parents and
reduce hardships through free institutional day care. But if moms and
dads aren't willing to make personal and financial sacrifices for their
children, why should anyone
JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.
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© 2000, Creators Syndicate