Is Kids First “Anti-Child Care”?
NO. Kids First (KF) is adamantly is favour of the care and learning of children. We value it so highly that most of those involved with Kids First forego tens of thousands of dollars of career income in order to do child care.
However, definitions are a key part of this debate. We define “child care” inclusively as “the care of a child.” We oppose the systemic discrimination against parental child care caused by exclusionary definitions found in funding agreements and some laws. These definitions give preferential treatment to those who use full-time care in daycare centres from birth.
Is Kids First “Anti-Daycare”?
NO. Kids First is neither anti- not pro-daycare. KF was set up in 1987 to be a voice for parents who provide care of their own children. There was a need to counter the many tax-funded lobbyists speaking for daycare. KF has long opposed the discrimination against our families found in all “national child care” plans. We are for equality and against preferential treatment of any care form. We are against taxes being used to lobby for discrimination against parental care.
Also, part of our founding purpose is to promote the optimal well-being of children. So for years KF has publicized reliable research that indicates that daycare compromises children’s well-being: illness, aggression, stress, attachment, etc.
Parents who feel that daycare is the best option for their child and their family should try to achieve that option, because they should do what they understand to be best for their child and family. However…
- This does not entitle them to any more tax money than other parents.
- All parents are entitled to accurate information from government agents so they can exercise informed consent when making these decisions. Currently, government agents routinely misinform parents regarding breastfeeding, quality of daycare, demand for daycare, etc.
Does Kids First Want All Women to “Stay at Home” and Not “Work”?
NO. We want women’s actual work and preferences to be respected and funded equitably. We want women to be freed from the contempt and dumbed-down advice about our bodies, our children and our “needs” we are given by the patriarchal type of feminist and other corporate interests.
Let’s look at the supposed huge divide between “at work” and “at home.” First, the care work we do is work: caring, diapering, cleaning, teaching, guiding, planning, nurturing, recycling, cooking, reading, etc. It is not “leisure,” being “idle” or “inactivity” as our government officially labels it.
Second, what does “stay at home” actually mean? Or “homemaker”? Who Know? Who invented these terms? Kids First discourages people from using these terms because they do not have the precise definitions required in our fight for just laws and policy. These terms give a false impression that mothers are literally “at home” 24/7/365—imprisoned, stuck, excluded from “society” and the “real world.” But these mothers are often not “at home”: we see them in buses, parks, shops, banks, community centres, schools, faith institutions, job-sites, medical offices. Nor is their work exclusively with their nuclear family. They are active and working with extended family, jobs, friends, neighbours, schools, community, organizations of all sorts. If they stopped doing all this work, it would be like cutting off society’s oxygen supply.
If we are talking about pay we should say so. “Stay at home” is more accurately called “not currently doing a full-time paid job away from children.” Few realize that most “working mothers”—that is those counted in the Labour Force—do not have a full- time paid job away from their kids. The Labour Force includes those on leave from a job and others who do not even have jobs at all! Forty percent of children have mothers who are not in the Labour Force at all.
Does Kids First Look Down at Mothers with Jobs?
NO. We’re all “full-time mothers”—when can you stop being a mother? The issue is not being a mother but doing the care work. Almost no mums are full-time 24/7/365 care workers. Mothers at full-time paid jobs away from their children often still provide most of the care and many do not use daycare.
For more information, see here for KF video on YouTube