Interesting front page on todays Telegraph on day nurseries, about a letter from childcare experts on whether being sent to day nurseries is good for the development of under-3s. The argument is that the best thing for children up to 2 1/2 years is to develop attachment with parents, as this is the best for their emotional development. There's the fascinating comment "we have never had an economy or a government that puts less value on love" Discuss....
The emphasis in government policy seems to be to recycle young parents back into the workforce as quickly as possible - provision of lucrative tax credits for people working and paying for childcare, the policy of free nursery time for children 3 and over, the aim of providing 'wraparound care' at schools so that parents can work a full working day and leave their children at school from 8am to 6pm, the consistent resistance to EC laws which limit the working week, etc. One one level, you could say this is all good enabling stuff, making it easier for parents to rejoin the workforce. The flipside is a rising sense of expecation on mothers to go back to work, and a culture of having children and then outsourcing their care to other people. Witness Madonna sending her nanny to fetch her new adopted child, rather than going herself - what's that all about?
The same paper has a story about 'Gymkids', who have developed fitness machines aimed at children - rowing machines, exercise bikes etc., all with calorie counters. Another example of exporting adult culture into the childrens world?
Better stop before I get into an ill-informed rant about all the other things that bother me as a parent of 2 pre-school kids.