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 Quotes from magazines about daycare - 1990, p9

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Quote

The Problem with Daycare
by Karl Zinsmeister,
The American Enterprise

May/June 1998, page 14 & 15
In order to be affordable, mainstream day care will always require several children to share a single caretaker.  Which brings us to the next inherent flaw that plagues paid childrearing -- the problem of lack of individual attention.  Fredelle Maynard reminds us that "a mother of twins is hard pressed to give two babies all the cuddling they want.  What can be expected of a caretaker who's in charge of four infants--or six?  With the best will (intentions) in the world, that caretaker will be obliged to give some infants a propped-up bottle, to let others cry while she performs essential tasks."
Category = Quality
The Problem with Daycare
by Karl Zinsmeister,
The American Enterprise

May/June 1998, page 15
Consider that the birth of triplets is literally considered an emergency situation which automatically qualifies two parents for caretaking assistance and special social aid.  Yet in hired day care, the very best institutional situations involve three or four infants assigned to a single caretakerThis is what gets called "high quality care."
Category = Quality
The Problem with Daycare
by Karl Zinsmeister,
The American Enterprise

May/June 1998, page 15
In average cases, things are worse yet.  The government's National Child Care Survey showed that among centers caring for one-year-olds, the average group size is currently ten, and the child/staff ratio is nearly 7:1.  Even this is probably an underestimate, since the survey was based on voluntary responses from day care centers and the worst institutions usually don't cooperate.
For many readers, those dry numbers may seem unexceptional.  They give no hint of what it's really like to be responsible for several infants or toddlers at once.  I suggest anyone who thinks 7:1 or even 4:1 sounds like a reasonable ratio ought to try it someday with real babies.  I can promise that you'll experience chaos and practice neglect. You will be lucky just to keep up with diaper changing.  Very little real fostering will take place under such conditions.
Category = Quality
The Problem with Daycare
by Karl Zinsmeister,
The American Enterprise

May/June 1998, page 16
The problem is not that day care workers are thoughtless, but rather that they work within a structure where fine-tuning and sensitivity are simply not possible.
Category = Quality
The Problem with Daycare
by Karl Zinsmeister,
The American Enterprise

May/June 1998, page 16 & 17
Many observers say all that's needed is some new laws requiring higher adult-to-child ratios.  But they overlook day care's basic nature.  Getting the ratios up to a humane level would amount to recreating families artificially, and the reason day care exists to begin with is because there aren't enough adults currently willing to spend their days in families.  Even if you could provide enough adult bodies in every day care setting, you would, as Penelope Leach points out, "have lost your economies of scale*."
*Economies of Scale - These occur when mass producing a good results in lower average cost.  The more of a good you produce, the less it costs for each additional unit.  For example, a plant that produces 1000 cars would be more efficient than a plant producing five cars.
Category = Economics, Quality

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Last updated:  07/03/2011

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