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 Quotes from books about daycare - 2007-2008, p5

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Featured Books 2007-2008:  
Standardized Childhood
Ships without A Shore: America's Undernurtured Children
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Quote/Comment

Ships Without A Shore: America's Undernurtured Children  by Anne Pierce, ©2008,  p. 90
 

In another compilation of research, the Rockford Institute…found that day care causes young children to be less responsive to adult role models and more responsive to the model provided by their peers. This, in turn, resulted in their exhibiting heightened aggressiveness and a lack of empathy for others.
Category = Behavior

Ships Without A Shore: America's Undernurtured Children  by Anne Pierce, ©2008,  p. 94

Although part of my aim is to bring to light those studies that have been hidden from our view because they challenge modern assumptions, just as important is the questioning of studies that do not stand the test of logic and the knowledge of our hearts. One of many unthoughtful and insensitive articles I encountered, for example, relied upon the results of a survey of children at two major day cares in a big city. The main point of this study was that the majority of children, when asked, said that they were “happy” at the day care and, when observed, seemed to be having a “good time.” The fact that these children were questioned within the day care setting and with care providers within listening distance did not trouble the researchers. The fact that a child’s stated preferences at this age are not necessarily indicative of what is good for the child was simply overlooked. A young child’s preferences often will include all kinds of thing not good for them—an abundance of candy, all the TV they want to watch, etc.
Category = Politics, Quality

Ships Without A Shore: America's Undernurtured Children  by Anne Pierce, ©2008,  p. 94

Such weak “reporting” on this issue is to be found everywhere. Another article I encountered in Working Mother, entitled “Day Care Detective,” claimed to give mothers “who can’t be there” a glimpse of a day at child care.” It proclaimed, “If you could follow your child around his center you might uncover a day like this.” The center they chose was, of course a “high quality” one “near Yale University.”
Category = Politics

Ships Without A Shore: America's Undernurtured Children  by Anne Pierce, ©2008,  p. 95

I could not help contrasting these “insider” looks at high-quality day care with my own observations when visiting a friend’s children at one of the best-reputed day care centers in Chicago. Babies in diapers crawled around in a large auditorium-like space. The care providers stood around the edge talking with each other like so many observers of basketball. The babies were only interacted with when there was an overt problem—one was crying; another needed a diaper change. The feeling was that of anonymity. The babies were a plurality and were treated as such even though this center was known for its individualized attention. Imagine this observation making its way into a “women’s magazine.” The news is simply too discouraging to publish.
Category = Quality

Ships Without A Shore: America's Undernurtured Children  by Anne Pierce, ©2008,  p. 96

The numbers dictate that day care centers place an Orwellian* emphasis upon efficiency as opposed to emotion. Too many displays of emotion, whether through tears, raucous laughter, impassioned displays of curiosity, or insistently sought out adventure are disruptive to the well-ordered group existence.

…In order to avoid chaos, they are taught to walk in line, to quiet down en masse, to choose activities when it is activity time and not simply when something sparks their interest, and to avoid clinging to those they love. If the care givers themselves become too emotional, i.e., too attached to certain children, it interferes with their impartial parceling out of time and attention and makes it difficult when the parents, at some inevitable point, remove the child from the center. Thus, they must be careful—not to become too attached. The child’s passionate emotional attachment to the parent is also discouraged since an emotional “scene” upon separating from parents is highly disruptive to group life and might trigger similar scenes in other children.
*A reference to 1984, George Orwell's novel of a Stalinist future world

Category = Behavior, Quality

Ships Without A Shore: America's Undernurtured Children  by Anne Pierce, ©2008,  p. 96-97

Day care workers have little time for attuned and responsive relationships. As anyone who has had six children under two years old in her care knows, it is difficult just to get by. A worker in one of the most respected day care chains complained to me, “We spend most of our time dealing with necessities. With all the time spent changing diapers preparing snacks, wiping up spills, distributing and redistributing toys, getting the children ready to go inside or outside, putting coats and mittens on and taking them off, there’s no time to have fun with the kids.”

What I took away from these comments was that the children in this esteemed day care center were well-maintained, but neither well-enough brought up nor well-enough loved.
Category = Caregiver, Quality

Ships Without A Shore: America's Undernurtured Children  by Anne Pierce, ©2008,  p. 99

It is simply unthinking to suggest that children can “develop” just as well in day care as they would in a loving home environment. Leaving statistics aside for a moment, let us pause to think about what a day in day care is like. Probably before he or she is ready to awake, the child is awakened and rushed through a morning routine, put into the care, and driven off to the center. Because her parents must get to work on time and cannot dawdle, she is expected to make a quick transition from parent to staff personnel. If she cries upon arriving, that crying is not taken seriously, as indicative of important feelings, but as something she should not feel. Such feeling, she is implicitly taught, need to be gotten rid of.
Category = Development, Quality

Ships Without A Shore: America's Undernurtured Children  by Anne Pierce, ©2008,  p. 100

Back at the day care center, “Sue” is not having a comfortable time. The noise and commotion are almost overwhelming, especially because she was awakened before she was ready. Many children talk and shout at once, competing for adult attention. Sue manages to wriggle onto her favorite childcare worker’s lap, but another child expends his energy trying to distract the worker away from Sue. The pushing and shoving and grabbing of toys finally causes the adults to raise their voices. This worries Sue and makes her long for the quiet of her own room. Although there is a “cozy corner,” the place as a whole is anything but cozy. There are toys and learning booths and cribs lined up like soldiers and colorful walls and posters but there is no escape from the public as opposed to the private feel of it all. This is an institution and feels like one.
Category = Behavior, Quality

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 Quotes from books about daycare - 2007-2008, p5

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Last updated:  10/15/2008

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