I remember mentioning on the list a few weeks ago that there needs to be daycare available EVERYWHERE that women go. I believe childcare jobs should be performed by trained, qualified personnel. Women are no longer at home all day long being SOLELY professional wives and mothers the way they were in the 19th century….therefore, there will need to be safe, affordable daycare EVERYWHERE that women need to go. I say this because the idea of having day care centers attached to libraries, or to the schools with which they are affiliated, is appealing, but there are still questions of staffing, space, and cost which don’t go away just because we say it’s the responsibility of ”the management of the places where women go.”
Someone does have to pay for these services, regardless of whether you’re talking about a not-for-profit entity or a private business. In the case of the former, it’s the tax-payers, usually, and therefore less obvious and painful, except when the tax bill comes. In the case of the latter, it’s the consumers–including the childless and those who actually can handle their kids, maybe even preferring to have them along rather than in professional day care while they are shopping, who pay. We select the place we do our shopping largely on the basis of price and a place that offered such superfluous day care services would not likely be competitive.
The word “affordable” is a key. What is affordable when you’re living at the limits of your budget anyway? Unless it’s subsidized, there’s no way this day care service is going to be provided by professionals. Drop-in day care is virtually impossible to make into a self-supporting enterprise. I’m puzzled at the idea that children would somehow be better served by spending the whole day going in and out of various professionally-run day care centers than spending time with their parents. Have we really reached the point where our children are so unmanageable that we cannot handle them while shopping in a supermarket, standing in a waiting line at a post office or utility company, etc., so we need to have other people paid to do that for is. If so, the fault lies not in the children or in society, but in ourselves, folks.