Essay by GauchexCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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Recent changes in federal government priorities have seen a reduction in financial support for parents who use childcare. This is occuring at a time when there is increasing social and financial pressure on parents, particularly mothers, to work. The issue of childcare and working mothers has been the subject of dispute for some time. Many argue that the best place for children is always in theire own homes with their own parents. However, it is my contention that there are many advantages to be had from using childcare and the government should provide more financial assistance to parents who do so.

It has been argued that children who attend childcare centers at an early age miss out on important early learning that occurs in parent-child interaction. These children, so this argument goes, may be educationally disadvantage later in life. However, childcare centers may actually assist children in their early learning.

They give children an opportunity to mix with other children and to develop social skills at an early age. Indeed, a whole range of learning occurs in childcare centers.

Another argument against the use of childcare facilities is that children can be emotionally deprived in these facilities compared to the home. This argument assumes that the best place for children is to be at their parent's, especially mother's, side for twenty-four hours a day. It claims that children's emotional development can be damaged when they are left in childcare facilities. However, parents and children need to spend some time apart. Moreover, children become less dependent on their parents and parents themselves are less stressed and more effective care-givers when there are periods of seperation. In fact, recent studies indicate that the parent-child relationship can be impreved by the use of high-quality childcare facilities.

It could be further asserted that the...