The Feb-March 2009 edition of Mothers matter has a number of very interesting articles, Page 5 is about putting babies into care, whether or not a mother should put on a suit and go back to work or to be a stay at home mum.

To some the answer is simple  Stay at home as I save all the money which I will be giving to the child care centre,  stay at home because I want to ensure my child is cared for well, and that I want to impart my morals and values onto my child as I have no interest in my child, taking on the values/ morals of the child care centre or the individual carers.

Alternatively I may want to go back to work because my career is very important and I need the extra money to make ends meet....

KPMG demographer ' Bernard Slat indicates that there is a push for women to return to the workforce quickly after child birth but this was not a co-ercion on the employers part but rather a desire to pay off the mortgage and to me the bill paying needs of the household. The flip side of the story is that perhaps these women are returning to work because they have gotten used to a particular "material"  lifestyle and they do not want to give up that lifestyle, suggest Mr Slat...

Like men in years gone past; women are now starting to be defined by their work, they are educated and they have been trained and now working is part of their psyche. They perhaps cannot cope with being left alone with a child and the only place they are comfortable is in the work environment.

Dr Steven Juan points out that 'We've gone past the issue of whether there should be child care or not'

"The way the economy is now, two incomes are required in families...",  "It isn't a question of  'if' you have child care. If you've got a young child and you are a parent,  you have to have child care because your income is needed for family survival"

So true Dr Juan, yes you do need the two incomes if you are keep pace with your current lifestyle, yes you do need the two incomes if you are paying $300 per week to a child care centre and end even with the rebates from the government it makes it very expensive to have a child in child care.

Yes Dr Juan you do need the second income if you are going to be running your gas guzzling four wheel drive Trucks and maintain two cars and take the vacation you took before...

Strange how the generation previously did not need the two incomes.. oh I forgot, they budgeted and scarificed some luxuries so that they could raise their child... you simply did without, you do not need to eat out every night, if you were splurging, you would go out on birthdays, now we must do it every second night or more...

Dr Juan goes onto state that "The research strongly shows that high quality care seem to show no damage or deleterious effects to children" hmmm so what defines high quality child care, 1 worker to 5 children, 1 worker to 3 children or 1 worker to 2 children... problem is the lower the ratio then the higher the cost...

However any primary school teacher/kinder teacher will verify that they can pick out which children have been in child care very easily as they are they children who do not share or co-operate with other children... This is not a one off impact and happens with the majority of children in child care... To me this is a dangerous precident to start so early in a childs life...

Thankfully Mem Fox is asked for her input and highlights some very relevant facts which should be considered when putting your child into day care, rightly pointing out that if I as a person have to work so hard and never see my child (except for a couple of hours at night) should I really be subjecting my child to that sort of stress.

Re-enforcing the opinion that children should not got into child care is a reference to Steve Biddulph's book ' Raising Babies' which stated that children particularly those placed in child care from the age of 6 months were at risk of developmental problems.

Margaret Sims (Edith Cowan Unitversity) tries to dismiss this by stating that the studies were based upon US data and that Australian Child Care is of a higher quality than the US.. No mention how Australian child care is better than the US and even a ratio 1 in 3 is still way to low  for a child in child care...

DR Juan concludes by saying that "the higher the quality, the better the affordability and the better the availability (of child care), the less is the risk of deleterious effects upon not only the child but also upon families generally".

Sadly Dr Juan the higher the quality the higher the cost, making it less affordable and putting more pressure on families, unless of course you expect the government to pay for the additional cost... As a tax payer I have no interest in paying more tax just so some couple can maintain the same lifestyle they had before the child was born...