Monday, May 14, 2007

watching the wee ones

ah monday- getting to be a political football at work. that's okay, i'll just sit in my office hole with my scary do-not-disturb-you-might-see-breasts-pumping sign on the door and wait for the storm to pass. Thankfully, my stupidness vanished enough last week so that the memo in question is good work.

Yesterday's Washington Post outlook section has an interesting article about people in my shoes, "how to handle the return" ( about coming back to work after a baby. Its an interesting article except for its total exclusion of the most stressful thing about going back to work- the scarcity of good-quality, affordable day care. Not a single mention. Perhaps Ms. Joyce has a nanny lined up?

I am very lucky- I have good day care. Its in the building, all certified. This should be the norm but is sadly extraordinary in our country. Even with the all-too-rare employer support that led to its creation, it's a whopping $1,500 a month, totally out of range for most people (including us, but who needs retirement savings?). And it still kills me- is it good enough? What about when he gets older and needs more stimulation?

There's a clear need for more public policy here- subsidies to make places like my day care affordable, if not for me than for many other folks. And as for the need for more places taking infants- how about some of those incentives used to build, say energy plants? But its one of those things people have been saying for years and no one does anything about, a stock play from the Democratic handbook that seems worn out even though its never been DONE. It's viewed as a rant, not a policy idea in the US.

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