Response to Dr. Hillel Goelman’s article “Time to get past child care myths”

[Dr. Goelman, daycare lobbyist, had an article in the Vancouver Sun, Monday April 24, 2006. This response was not published by the Sun.]

Hillel Goelman and Clyde Hertzman run H.E.L.P. at UBC and are leading daycare promoters. Recently they attacked academics who found negative outcomes for Quebec daycare. “Zombies” conducting “statistical malpractice” was Hertzman’s accusation. Goelman also condemns deceptive definitions and numbers, but dis-information is essential to daycare myths.

72% of mothers are in the “paid labour force”. Goelman doesn’t say this includes:

  • doing unpaid work for a family business

  • looking for a job

  • being away from a job—a friend had 6 years unpaid parental leave

  • doing ANY amount of paid work—no minimum

  • doing paid work with our children present.

And how does he define “child care?” Everything from mother-baby drop-ins, nutrition info, and preschool to full-time daycare centre from birth—which he never mentions. But when it comes to money, the definition he supports tightens up. “Child care” was defined in last year’s agreements so that funding supports only government-licensed daycares and preschools. Daycare centres get the most.

Parents who use daycare centres full-time from birth get tens of thousands more dollars in assistance than those who do not. We have “choice” but not equality.

At the recent SFU child care round table, I asked how equality will be respected. Goelman’s dismissive answer: “Quality, equality, it doesn’t matter how you spell it”.

The historical fact is that daycare is funded by de-funding families. The OECD agenda—called “post-maternalism”—packages funding daycare with workfare, massive cuts to welfare, and elimination of direct support to families. Equality is abandoned.