What do you think of placing children in child-care centers so mothers can work?
Safe, clean, loving child-care facilities are a necessity in today's culture. They are especially needed by the millions of mothers who are forced to work for financial reasons. They are particularly vital to the many single parents who are the sole breadwinners in their families. Thus, we need not question the wisdom of providing well-supervised centers for children whose mothers and fathers require assistance in raising them. That debate is over.
What can be argued is whether children fare better in a child-care facility or at home with a full-time mom. Personally (and others will disagree), I don't believe any arrangement for children can compete with an intact family where the mother raises her kids and the father is also very involved in their lives. There are at least four reasons that is true:
First, children thrive and learn better when they enjoy one-on-one relationships with adults rather than as members of a group.
Second, you can't pay an employee in a child-care center enough to care for children like their own mothers will do. Children are a mother's passion, and it shows.
Third, research verifies that kids at home are healthier than those who are regularly exposed to diseases, coughs, and sneezes from other boys and girls.1
Fourth, a bonding is more likely to occur between parents and children when the developmental milestones are experienced firsthand. Families should be there when the first step is taken and the first word is spoken and when fears and anxieties arise. Certainly, others can substitute for Mom in those special moments, but something precious is lost if a surrogate witnesses them.
In short, I recognize the need for healthy child-care facilities in situations that demand them, but group living is not in the best interests of kids.
Dr. David W. Fleming, Dr. Stephen L. Cochi, Dr. Allen W. Hightower, and Dr. Claire V. Broome, “Childhood Upper Respiratory Tract Infections: To What Degree Is Incidence Affected by Attendance?” Pediatrics (January 1987): 55–60.