Earlier this year, Alberta MP Rona Ambrose created a brief firestorm of media commentary with her remark to Social Development Minister Ken Dryden in the House of Commons about “old white guys” telling young women what to do. Dryden was responding to a report which showed nearly 100 per cent of all young parents would choose to stay out of the workforce to care for their children if they could. Despite this, Dryden insisted that “The real choice is the opportunities [sic] for men and women across the country to have the choice of high quality early learning and child care.”
His response is typical of many in the child care field who refuse to acknowledge what parents know is in the best interests of their children: parental care. A public opinion survey conducted for IMFC in May 2005 shows that parents are firm in their desires to care for their children whenever possible, and to have care options available when they must be away from their children.
Determining the best type of care for their children is a tumultuous decision for many parents as they weigh the advantages of two incomes versus one, parental care versus care outside of the home, private child care versus public daycare. However, the only option for which there is any government support continues to be institutional daycare settings despite clear evidence that Canadians want more child care choice.
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