So I know I’ve made my position on the matter clear, but I wanted to add an addendum to that point: does this ‘plan’ strike anyone else as rather anti-woman?
Here’s why I think that it may well be: I’ve heard 7 conservative candidates talk about their childcare plan. Every single one of them, every single one, listed ‘Home Care’ as the first option for Canadian parents. ‘Family Care’ was second, and professional child care was third. The Conservatives, it appears, want women to stay at home with the children. Now, I know that some men do stay home while their wives work. But trust me, it doesn’t happen very often. I’ve looked into “Stay-at-Home Dad’ groups, and they’re far fewer, and far more sparsely populated than Stay-At-Home Mom groups. So even if it’s not specifically women that should be staying home to look after the kids, according to the Conservatives, in practice, it appears that this is what they want, as probably 90% of the time, it’s the woman who will stay at home.
The second option listed by the Conservatives is family care – where another family member takes care of the kid is also somewhat suspect. I read in The New Father that people over 60 (read: grandparents, perhaps the most common “family” caretakers) who are caretakers for young children have a 50% increased risk of heart attack. Which is significant, and were it even a possibility for me (it isn’t), would make me think twice before offloading Liam onto my parents.
Another thought occurrs to me as I write this: perhaps the home/family care vs. daycare is an urban/rural split. Or a class split. In cities, particularly Vancouver, it’s simply not feasible in most cases for only one parent to work – the cost of living so high. In the suburbs, or rural areas, this may not be the case. In may in fact be quite common. But I’ve no experience of that, so I can’t speak to it. My parents are also still both working (and worked when I was a kid too), so they aren’t an option for me to use for childcare either. And I don’t know how common that is – to have both of one’s parents still working. My only remaining grandparent is 90, and so clearly not an option either – and as people wait longer and longer to have children, the chances of a granparent being physically able to care for a small child diminishes greatly too.