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The Need For Quality Daycare Essay

1349 words - 5 pages

The Need for Quality Daycare

Daycare has become a controversy because of the great quantity of advantages and disadvantages that it involves. While a very large number of parents have to rely on child care centers because of career ambitions or financial needs that only their jobs can fulfill, most child psychiatrists believe that the ideal growing environment for an infant is at home with the family. The problem is that choosing the right caregiver, a good substitute for the parents, is very hard, and the consequences of a wrong decision can be very detrimental to the child’s personality development. This choice depends on many factors like culture, education and especially income. In fact, the financial availability plays the most important role in the possibility to choose the child care with the highest quality, which means, the lowest danger of a negative impact on the infant. In March 1970, twenty-six percent of mothers with children under two years of age were in the labor force. By the same month in 1984, that figure was 46.8 percent (U.S. Department of Labor, 1984). In the present day, that number is even higher and the children under five years of age who need daycare assistance reached ten million (Bureau of Census, 1995). This strong increase of demand for external caregivers brought to the creation of many specialized centers and the growth of the sector of non-professional assistance like part-time babysitters. Unfortunately, the most part of these offerings are incompetent and low quality. As the average age in which children are placed in extra-parental hands is decreasing, the risk of later behavioral consequences increases, so the choice of the right solution becomes always more critical. At this time, over half of the children under one year need this kind of assistance and approximately sixteen percent of them belong to families very close to the poverty line (NAP chap.1). The problem is accentuated by the widening of the gap between rich and poor, that can be translated in this matter as an increase of difficulty for low-income families to have access to the much more expensive high quality day care options. There are several aspects that built such a controversial situation and the most important are certainly the cultural and economical ones. The huge growth in women’s independence and professional ambition, in addition to importance, of the last decades, caused the fall of the cultural basis that have always taken for granted the responsibility of the mother as the full-time caregiver (Chisholm 38). Now women are more willing to gain a successful and respectable place in society, and this can be achieved almost exclusively through hard work and full immersion in their jobs. Simultaneously, the economical situation of our society caused many families to depend on two incomes to satisfy the basic needs. In fact, the increase in the cost of living not sufficiently balanced by a relatively smaller rise in wages, and a...

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