Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/3098
Title: Are we asking the right question when we ask 'Is child care bad for children?'
Contributor(s): Sims, Margaret  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2003
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/3098
Abstract: Originally evolving out of a welfare model of services (Brennan, 1994; Sims & Hutchins, 1996), child care has traditionally been the underdog of early childhood programs. Child care workers remain on lower wages than early childhood teachers (Press & Hayes, 2001). Training requirements to work in child care are less, and the industry is characterised by high caregiver stress levels, high staff turnover and poor working conditions (Commonwealth Child Care Advisory Council, 2001; Press & Hayes, 2001; Sims, 2003, in press). It is no wonder child care is perceived as a 'necessary evil' for those parents whose needs require them to be in the workforce. The Western world is strongly influenced by an 'Ideology of Motherhood' (Hutchins & Sims, 1999) which implies that the ultimate achievement of womanhood is to parent children. In this context, women who 'pass on' their child caring role to others are judged as poor examples of womanhood. The child care industry, therefore, is seen as having a '...financial interest in separating infants and young children from their mothers ...' (Cook, 2002). Alternatives to child care, such as extended parental leave, are debated without challenging the fundamental assumption that children are better off in their homes, being cared for by a parent. Formal child care is often perceived as the opposite, and less desirable end of the child care continuum, with parental care at the most desirable, end. Proving child care is bad for children is often assumed to prove the converse: that parental care is the best for children. The question thus becomes imbued with all the power and emotion surrounding the whole issue of parenthood/motherhood.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 28(4), p. 34-39
Publisher: Early Childhood Australia Inc
Place of Publication: Watson, Australia
ISSN: 0312-5033
Field of Research (FOR): 111704 Community Child Health
130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
150499 Commercial Services not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 940105 Childrens/Youth Services and Childcare
930502 Management of Education and Training Systems
940112 Families and Family Services
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Other Links: http://www.questia.com/read/1G1-111933561/
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Education

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