KAMLOOPS — I know I will be vilified for saying this, but I don’t get the reasoning behind free childcare. A family wants to have children, and expects everyone to pay them for raising the kids?
The NDP would implement $10 a day childcare if they are elected in the spring. They would suggest to us that childcare is in crisis. Candidate Nancy Bepple said in a tweet last weekend that childcare is the second highest cost after housing. She says “too costly to afford working for some.” I don’t disagree with the veracity of her comments, I’m just not sure why I should pay someone else to raise kids. Isn’t it reasonable to assume that if you want a family, you should have to make a decision on how you’re going to raise those kids?
Long ago, in a time when no childcare facilities existed, parents had to make a decision. If you had family to help, they would pitch in. Grandparents often looked after kids during the day, but as often as not, the mother had to stay home and look after the kids. Sometimes on occasion it was the father. That was the way of the world. Then daycare started and there was another option. Then you were allowed to deduct daycare expenses on your income tax. I felt that was a reasonable concession, but Nancy is right, it was seldom enough of an incentive to allow both parents to work. But I think it was reasonable. It at least allowed women (or men) who wanted and deserved to have a career the opportunity to have a choice.
Some will argue that the cost of living has forced both parents to work. I’m sure many seniors would argue that it’s the expectations of today’s millennials, gen-exers, etc, which have created the problem.
Obviously this is all subjective and dependant on your point of view as to whether or not society as a whole should pay for the raising of children. And family support certainly isn’t what it used to be. But it is still hard to wrap my head around the concept of using taxpayers’ money to pay childrearing expenses because a couple wishes to work outside the home instead of one of them staying home to raise the kids.
I know this is going to appear as a statement that women should be forced to stay home and mind the family. And those who only see that will miss the point of this comment.
Am I being too Scrooge-like today? Perhaps. Shouldn’t have watched the Christmas Carol last night.