Battery Farmed Kids.
As I stand in the infants’ room surrounded by screaming babies I can’t help but wonder what damage childcare is doing to the future generation. Babies are being put in to childcare at an alarming rate and centres are not able to cope. Centres in Sydney have up to 5-year waiting lists and parents are having to put their babies on the lists before they are even pregnant. I get up to ten phone calls a day with desperate mothers trying to find childcare for their baby.
But is the real cost of putting your child in care to pay your bills, your child’s healthy development?
Childcare has become big business and where there is money to be made there is big corporations. But can corporations really offer quality nurturing childcare? As the demand for childcare has increased the government has helped these cooperation’s and families by allowing more and more children to be put into care. In 2005 the maximum of children a centre was allowed was 90, now we have centres with over 200. The only restriction for babies is a centre can not have over 90. You can not provide a quality nurturing environment with over 200 children and 90 babies.
This sounds more like a battery farm then a nurturing place for development.
Babies and children need to form attachments for healthy development. A child usually forms this attachment with their Mother and later in their life their father. After 9 months of age a child can begin to make attachments to others such as one or two child care teachers if need be. It is not possible for a child to make multiple secure attachments to multiple teachers. Research suggests that failure to form secure attachments early in life can have a negative impact on behavior in later childhood and throughout the life. Children diagnosed with oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently display attachment problems.
Research has also shown that babies in care have greater levels of cortisol in their blood, which is counteractive to learning. It has also shown that their brains develop differently to babies who are nurtured at home. They develop more of a survival brain, which is less emotionally stable and can have a lower IQ.
Research also indicates that early attachments can have a serious impact on later relationships. For example, those who are securely attached in childhood tend to have good self-esteem, strong romantic relationships and the ability to self-disclose to others. As adults, they tend to have healthy, happy and lasting relationships.
Parents are told that babies benefit from the educational programs and social side of childcare, but are we really this naïve?
We all know that all babies need for development is to be with their Mother. In fact research has proven again and again that babies brains develop far better when they are close to their parents.
We also know that children under the age of two are ego driven and have no interest in making friendships.
So they will gain no social or educational benefit from childcare before the age of two.
I understand that many families struggle to pay bills and childcare may be their only option, but I am also concerned that we are offering parents low quality childcare and our children are paying the price. I am gravely concerned for the next generation and have no doubt that growing up in these un-nurturing conditions will have negative effects on children for life.
Is this what we want of our future generations?