What daycare can never do

Interesting article from the Institute of Marriage and Family in Canada

It is often said that education is the cornerstone of a civilized society. The foundation for learning begins long before formal schooling starts. But two questions arise: What do we mean by education and how should it be delivered?

Certainly, no one argues that education begins at birth. The first tools children need to learn evolve within the family, our first school. The basis of that education lies in developing trust, love and empathy, which unfolds in our first relationships, not in academic skills. The best foundation for learning the three “Rs” (Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmetic) are what could be called the three “Ss” – Safety, Security and Stability. These are the underlying substructures of education. When these three basics are provided, many emotional, behavioural and academic concerns fall by the wayside, as well as the costs associated with them. For this reason, early learning programs, today moving toward younger ages outside the home, will always fall short in providing a solid basis for lifelong learning.

But here’s the interesting bit

…a trend in the violent crime rate among young people in Canada shows an increase of 12% in 10 years, and 30% since 1991, with homicides in 2006 reaching their highest point since data was first collected in 1961.

And the widespread use of medications for Attention Deficit Disorders (with or without hyperactivity) continues to put pressure on parents and schools as it affects learning and behaviour. Statistics Canada indicates a classroom will have one to three children with this disorder, with boys being diagnosed three times more than girls. Similar trends are shown in mental health disorders and bullying.

This increase in social problems among the young also coincides with an eight-year profile, which shows that the proportion of children in daycare has also increased. In 2002-2003, for example, 54% of children aged six months to five years were in some form of child care, up from 42% in 1994-1995. This correlation may not necessarily be causal but Bowlby cautioned us decades ago that “when the care of children is neglected they become a source of social infection as real and serious as are the carriers of diphtheria and typhoid.”




1 comment for “What daycare can never do

  1. 14 September 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Very good stuff. I especially like, ‘the three Ss undergird the three Rs’ and ‘neglected children become a source of social infection as real and serious as are the carriers of diphtheria and typhoid’.

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