The headlines are about problems with childcare. It all comes from the conclusions of a study of cause and effect, and those study results contain some real shockers.

Bottom line? Bratty, disobedient, nasty, bullies in kindergarten, whether boys or girls, are the result of out-of-home, non-Mom child care.

The study conclusion shows that it is simply a result of the number of hours the child spends away from mom and dad. It doesn’t matter at all whether the childcare comes from an in-home nanny (baby-sitter), with relatives or friends, or at a care center — more hours, more trouble.

This sounds like the best Mother’s Day present one could imagine! Needless to say, the news is being treated like a shot across the bow by so-called feminist leaders and (heaven forgive them) child advocates.

The results cut them off at the knees. After all, for years they’ve been telling women, and families in general, that non-home, non-parental childcare is just fine for kids and, in fact, can be better. The result of that kind of pap adds up to a conclusion that kids don’t need parents — that any “caregiver” will do in any circumstance, at any age.

I have problems with terminology here. What is a “mommy”? What’s the difference between a “caregiver” and a “babysitter?” Is a “nanny” the same as a “preschool provider”? Is a “teacher” the same as “mommy”? When a “caregiver” does it as a job and is responsible for 10 or 20 children, do they really “care” for the children and what does that “care” involve? Just what is “childcare” anyway — love or storage?

By the way, since teachers now are not supposed to hug kids, what does that say about the hugs that the real mommy gives? That they aren’t needed either? I don’t think so.

The researchers are dealing with the results of what is described as “the largest and most authoritative study of child care and development ever conducted.”

The problem isn’t so much that the study was conducted. After all, it’s been going on for 10 years. And it wasn’t a stealth operation. It was research sponsored by the government, financed by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development. The study involved tracking more than 1,300 children in 10 cities across the country.

They varied the children, their economic level and their care circumstances. They looked at infants and older preschoolers in a variety of child care situations — everything from the traditional stay-at-home mother with a working father to single mother/almost-full-time-child-care for the offspring, and everything in between. The results were consistent — and negative

Unfortunately for the fem-experts who persist in encouraging women to work under the canard that it won’t harm their children, the results of the study show exactly the opposite.

Dr. Jay Belsky, of Birkbeck College in London and one of the lead investigators, doesn’t specifically say that outside the home child care is “bad,” but the conclusions are hard to ignore: The more time in childcare, the more bad behavior and the more aggressive the child. He also said that if more hours spent in childcare means more bad behavior, then the way to have better behavior is to have less time in childcare.

Whew! No wonder the fem-experts are steaming. Apparently the good doctor has voiced other such criticisms of the feminist childcare dogma before and they didn’t like that either. I guess he won’t be invited to speak to NOW conferences!

But they had best pay attention to him. Never mind the arguments that the family needs the money; never mind that women have to express themselves. They should have thought of that before they — got married, had children, got divorced or just had children without all those legal entanglements. Statistics show that married parents together mean less poverty and more family stability.

No one is saying that situations don’t exist that require a woman to work to support her children/family. They do and those women need consideration and assistance where possible to enable them to care for and support their children. Split shifts, shared jobs, part time jobs, telecommuting, etc., etc., etc. Creative possibilities abound. Believe me, I’ve been there and speak from experience. It happens, and it isn’t easy. But then, life isn’t easy — never was, never will be.

The problem is that society in general and women in particular are being force-fed the fem-party line that mothering has no real value, is not “real” work, and is not needed. Once the baby is born, it matters not who cares for it as long as it is “cared-for.” What utter nonsense.

The Children’s Defense Fund says there are 13-million preschoolers in childcare in this country — 6 million of them are infants! (Sorry, I just don’t believe the mothers of all 6 million have to work. I’d like to see a study of that.) As if those numbers aren’t bad enough, of the total only 25 percent are cared for by parents! That means 75 percent are away from their mom and dad. How profoundly sad. No wonder the children are angry.

Instead of the women’s groups taking umbrage at the study findings and looking for excuses why they’re “wrong,” they should be looking at ways to encourage moms to be with their children and have parents be responsible for the most important job they could ever have — raising another human being.

I am a woman and a mother, and I know the fem-experts are full of it. I don’t feel sorry for women. I grieve for the little children who trust us, and in whose betrayal we are all party if we do nothing to help them.

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