In response to “The Affordable Childcare Plan” (MP Alex Atamanenko: Keeping House, Trail Daily Times, Friday, Feb. 6)
Actually, the real benefits of investing in women being able to stay home to raise their own children far outweigh the benefits of farming this responsibility out to poorly-funded childcare centres.
Hundreds and hundreds of scientific studies since the ‘70s (check out Paul Tough’s “How Children Succeed” and Salvatore Maddi’s “Resilience at Work”) have shown the two main factors that lead to health, happiness, self-motivation and success in adulthood are ensuring children learn how to be stress hardy and resilient.
The three main factors that lead to children growing up to be stress hardy and resilient are exposure to controlled and constructive early stressors, having access to a dedicated, constant and strong support person (read: mom or dad) to help them learn to deal with the stressors productively, and having a strong sense of purpose giving them a good reason to put up with stressors.
None of these outcomes link well to underfunded childcare centres with a few low paid adults serving dozens of children all at once for lengthy periods.
If you want true, sustainable economic development, rather that quick, low quality short-term fixes, citizens must have opportunities to thrive, not just survive.
When a government creates systems that make it possible for women go back to work in low paying, often unskilled jobs, they are only making it marginally easier for families to survive. However, when kids have access to their moms (or dads) throughout their childhoods helping them grow into stress hardy and resilient adults, they grow up with the support systems that would allow them to thrive and that is much better for economic development in Canada.
Jill M. Prince, MBA, CHC