A Public Comittment To The Future Generation
November 17, 2017 2:31 PM   Subscribe

“Since then, the federal government has failed to offer any childcare programs anywhere near as generous as those created by the Lanham Act. Through the Head Start program launched in the 1960s, the federal government has tried to improve access to childcare. But with a limited number of slots available and eligibility to participate restricted by income, the program is even further removed from a universal ideal. Nor have the 50 states sought to create any better childcare options. Jurisdictions that provide universal free preschool remain the exception; meanwhile, daycare expenses continue to devour family budgets in large metropolitan areas.” Every Parent Deserves A Nanny State - Vanessa A. Bee, Current Affairs.
posted by The Whelk (11 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
If we keep turning out in midterms like we did in Virginia, we’ll have a socialist paradise in 10 years time.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:09 PM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

we’ll have a socialist paradise in 10 years time.

socialism: it's when the government does things
posted by indubitable at 5:23 PM on November 17, 2017 [11 favorites]

Oh it's totally socialist. We subsidize social services so that Wal-Mart (the largest employer in the world) can crush unions and supress wages. Granted, it's a super fucked up form of it.
posted by Brocktoon at 5:27 PM on November 17, 2017 [7 favorites]

One of the reasons I quit working when my son was born was because it would have taken almost my entire salary to pay for daycare that could give him the same educational benefits that in could provide. I talked to a mom the other day who just quit her job because daycare was over 2k a month. That said, it destroyed my career with no chance of rebuilding after such an extended sabbatical as I took.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:53 PM on November 17, 2017 [6 favorites]

But what about people who don’t want to park their babies with a government worker? Surely there must be a way to plan for those cases?
posted by Ideefixe at 6:20 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Fresh off the Boat, Season 1:Episode 6, 2015

Describing the video game his mother accidentally bought versus one highly anticipated by his friends...
Barefoot Dave(Evan Hannemann): Guys, I was up all night. 9 to 5 is genius. You can play it as any character, but I prefer DoraLee because if you forge Franklin Hart's signature, you get to open a daycare at consolidated.

Having completed all its achievements...
Equal pay for equal work--You can have it all ladies.

I know women, largely, achieved organizational feats in the sixties and seventies to address equal access to autonomy that put a dent in the traditionalist narratives that resist the promises of emergent liberty that western republics provide, yet, in the United States, fell short of a plainly reasonable Constitutional amendment.

Imagining a conspiratorial "star chamber" content to simultaneously provide some fraction of women access to economic autonomy while protecting the institution of a marriage contract and its conventions of "head of household" and "bread winner" is sometimes pretty seductive. Just enough, but not too much because it's tradition, goddammit. Mostly when I am exhausted by the scale of considerations for culture, economic model, and policy.

It is reasonable to be cynical and angry and suspicious when a significant portion of a socioeconomic class (conventionally and traditionally deemed reasonable when a quintile [a proportion in jeopardy during periods of wealth concentration the US achieved at the turn of the century and now]) reports whatever gains are made through a chosen labor and its necessary education and professional practice can't keep pace with an expenditure for a need.

Stark examples of inequity, such as presented by The Help(2011), in which the value of labor assigned to raising the children of whites is a significant differential to black women having the choice to raise their own is "stark" only to some grotesquely stupid majority half-a-century in respect.

Whether the PLAN is redistribution through subsidy or greater regulation and transparency of work metrics and achieving equal pay? Why not both? Comprehensive, as social democrats tend to phrase progressive policy? But controls and sunsets and false dawns and cultural proxy wars...all of it is so maddeningly slow by any anecdotal (but not a whit less meaningful) account.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 7:40 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

But what about people who don’t want to park their babies with a government worker? Surely there must be a way to plan for those cases?
posted by Ideefixe at 6:20 PM on November 17

No, there's no need to plan for those cases, because wealth already is the plan for those cases.

The point is to plan for everyone else.
posted by yesster at 10:47 PM on November 17, 2017 [8 favorites]

"Government worker(s)" aren't lizard people.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:03 PM on November 17, 2017 [7 favorites]

I read Ideefixe's post as sarcasm and knowledgeable of factional dissent on the topic.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 11:52 PM on November 17, 2017

It appears that in countries where universal child care is well established, the child care on offer is of very good quality. Where children are actually valued - not just lip service paid to Our Chylldrun, Our Fyoocher - child care is safe, clean, and loving for the kids (and a decent job for the providers).

I think it would be good for both kids and parents to have high-quality daycare and preschool available - parents get a break, kids get other caring adults in their lives, parents get guidance on how to better care for their kids, children have extra eyes on them to prevent abuse and neglect.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:16 AM on November 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Before we turn to boarding schools, it seems like a much simpler first step would be publicly funded extended length before and after-school programs with a rich learning and play environment and staff treated well enough that the program can hire people who are neither desperate nor martyrs.

It's hard to disentangle the public policy aspects from my own immediate horror at the idea of spending 24 hours a day with my childhood classmates. When I was growing up as the child of a working class, single mom, figuring out how to take care of me so that she could have even a little bit of an individual life or hold down a job was always a struggle. The school program ended at 5:30pm, and I couldn't be dropped off before 8:30am. Which meant actually working a full time job was almost impossible. The amount of favor-trading with neighbors, fines and threats of explusion for being picked up late because of a last minute work crisis, and turning down better jobs because they were an extra twenty minutes away was a constant headache. In many ways, a boarding school would have been fantastic for my family.

But, I doubt I would have made it three weeks in a boarding school without resorting to either murder or suicide. It sounds like hell on earth.
posted by eotvos at 8:21 AM on November 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

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