Is free childcare for women really a good idea? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15317667
There are many on the Left calling for government to provide paid childcare.

Supposedly, the reasoning goes, women need childcare so they can work.

But does this actually make sense? It seems to me, if we actually look at this and think about the situation, it is not actually logical.

Here's the thing: If parents want childcare, they can pay for it.
Now, of course you're going to argue that childcare is very expensive and for some women it's very expensive to afford childcare.
Well, I would argue that it's probably difficult for these women to afford children.
This isn't really about childcare, it's about a deeper issue.

Here is my big question: Why should government pay for women to have someone else care for their child, but not pay for the woman to take care of her own child?

If the society subsidizes women putting their children into childcare, it is going to create a financial incentive for women to put their children into childcare. Probably many women are going to be pressured into putting their children into childcare.
This really does not seem like the best thought out idea.

And here is another issue I have with this. Childcare is very expensive. Proponents of free childcare argue that it would "allow women to work". But I think in many cases, it is less costly or makes more financial sense for the woman to care for the children herself.

And isn't that obviously the case? If the woman is choosing not to put her children in childcare, then she has decided that the expense of putting her children in childcare is not worth being able to work in a full time employment position.
Why then should that expense be offloaded onto the taxpayer?

And there are other arrangements that women could pursue themselves. Women could organize among themselves. Maybe two mothers who have children could get together and take turns caring for the other's children.
I remember in public school there was one class where two women had made a special arrangement with the school, alternating as the teacher for that class so they could each only have to work part-time. The normal full-time teacher's salary was split between them.

Progressives often argue that childcare is especially important for low income women. But if that low income woman has multiple children, the expense of childcare could be even more expensive than the money the woman would be able to earn from low wage job, with the additional available time.

The average cost of childcare per child in the U.S. is $11,582 per year.
Given the median minimum wage in the U.S. ($11 per hour), a full time worker would be expected to earn $22,880 per year.
As you can see, if such a woman had more than one child, it does not create an overall economic benefit to have her work full time rather than take care of her children.

(And look, even if the woman could be earning 30% more than the cost of childcare, still in most cases it would not be worth it for her. Having to go to an employed job is usually more difficult than having to care for one's own children)

I think ideally, setting the issue of money aside, it is preferrable for mothers to care for their own children, rather than outsourcing the task to some stranger.
Keep in mind that kindergarten is publicly provided for free in the U.S., so it's not like a mother has to spend the entire day caring for each of her children forever.

I'm not totally against the possibility of maybe providing some financial support to mothers who care for their children; but what I am really against is the idea of society paying to have someone else take care of the children who is not the mother.
#15317694
I question whether it provides an economic net benefit to society. If women themselves do not feel like the financial trade-off is worth it, then why would we as a society think it was?
I also question whether it really makes sense to pay women not to take care of their own children, which essentially is what this policy proposal is.


late wrote:If you want poor women to work, you have to help with the kids.

I'm just suggesting it might not be financially worthwhile for poor women to work, if it means ending up having to pay for someone else to care of the kids.
It might not really make overall economic logical sense.

Think about it this way. If that woman's parents were the ones who would end up having to pay for the childcare (of their grandchildren), would it make financial sense, for this extended family?


late wrote:Since pre-K is a win/win/win, why the F not.

The question there is: Does this provide an overall economic benefit to society?

If a woman were just given that money, would she choose to use it on paying for childcare?

I think it only seems like a "win/win" to you, because those on the Left have a tendency to view anything "free" as coming from a free money tree.
#15317753
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/social.pdf
One option is increased child benefits for stay-at-home mothers, thus making life better in the ghetto, a measure welcomed and immediately benefiting people stuck there. It also has the effect of marginally enhancing the status of child-carers, but it is hardly likely to enhance the attractiveness of being a stay-at-home parent sufficiently to encourage men to give up their paid work and become househusbands. It actually emphasises a woman’s role as unpaid child-carer, trapping her in that role, since it is a disincentive to going out to get paid work, stigmatises the mother as a welfare recipient and relieves the male of responsibility for contributing to the upbringing of his own children. This is the kind of affirmative strategy which has immediate appeal but fails to solve the problem, and correspond to all those kinds of public policy strategies that are based around providing services to “areas of special need.” Good and necessary up to a point, but unable to resolve the underlying problems.

Another strategy is to commercialise child-care, thus moving the job into the market and giving women the choice of doing the same work for a wage, or doing a different job while their own kids are cared for in a childcare centre. This is probably more effective in giving women a choice, but it runs into a couple of problems. So long as child-care is stigmatised as “women’s work,” then it remains low-paid and women move out of their homes into lowpaid jobs doing “women’s work.” There is no way out of this trap until the gender division of labour is broken down. Once women are recognised capable of the same kind of work as men, then women can command wages equal to their male partners and make working for a wage worth putting the kids into child-care. Meanwhile, with child-care no longer stigmatised as “women’s work” she is more likely to be left a fair share of domestic duties and child-care centres are treated as seriously as other service. In other words, the “location” — “women’s work” — has to be deconstructed altogether, and “woman” no longer a socially constructed location.

However, childrearing is an important social function. It ought not to be an occupation which is denigrated and no-one should be forced to go into the professional by reason of their gender, but whoever is there needs to do the job well. If women choose not to be childraisers, then that has to be a matter of choice, not because they have to go out to work and “can’t afford children.” If we want the next generation to be raised well, then social arrangements have to be made to make it a worthwhile profession.

Making “women’s work” everyone’s responsibility, means getting men to take on that work and that generally means a fight for those stuck with “women’s work” not so much to change themselves or get better recognition for what they do (these too) but to get other people to accept their responsibility.
#15317765
Wellsy wrote:One option is increased child benefits for stay-at-home mothers, thus making life better in the ghetto,

Some conservatives believe child benefits should be limited to only one or two children, so as not to incentivize her to have more children.

Maybe she should only be given 50% of the benefit for the third child. And only then if she consents to get her tubes tied.
#15317766
Wellsy wrote:One option is increased child benefits for stay-at-home mothers, thus making life better in the ghetto, a measure welcomed and immediately benefiting people stuck there. It also has the effect of marginally enhancing the status of child-carers, but it is hardly likely to enhance the attractiveness of being a stay-at-home parent sufficiently to encourage men to give up their paid work and become househusbands. It actually emphasises a woman’s role as unpaid child-carer, trapping her in that role, since it is a disincentive to going out to get paid work, stigmatises the mother as a welfare recipient and relieves the male of responsibility for contributing to the upbringing of his own children.

Another strategy is to commercialise child-care, thus moving the job into the market and giving women the choice of doing the same work for a wage, or doing a different job while their own kids are cared for in a childcare centre.

That article seems to create the impression that government-funded childcare would "give women choice", but it seems to me, rather, that just giving the woman child benefit money would give the woman more choice.
She could either take the money and take care of her own children herself, or she could use that money to pay for someone else to take care of her children.

I don't know why we should be providing special incentive for a woman to specifically either take care of children who are not hers, or put her children in the care of someone else.


The article makes the claim that child benefits to the woman "relieves the male of responsibility for contributing to the upbringing of his own children", but isn't that equally (and perhaps even more) true of providing free childcare?

The author of that article seems to be trying to make the impression can only be adequately compensated if they are officially employed in childcare, rather than receiving payments for taking care of their own children. This doesn't really seem entirely logical to me.
Seems to me that is more an issue of economics and amount of money government is spending. Those are the real issues.
#15317768
Wellsy wrote:However, childrearing is an important social function. It ought not to be an occupation which is denigrated and no-one should be forced to go into the professional by reason of their gender, but whoever is there needs to do the job well. If women choose not to be childraisers, then that has to be a matter of choice, not because they have to go out to work and “can’t afford children.” If we want the next generation to be raised well, then social arrangements have to be made to make it a worthwhile profession.

In other words, sounds like a privileged (and probably childless) middle class feminist saying that childcare is not something anyone wants to do.

The fact children need to be raised and physically cared for is seen as huge inconvenience and burden.
#15317771
My impression is that its saying government funding or commercial (even if subsidized) childcare doesn’t alleviate the problem that child care is relegated to being primarily a woman’s responsibility and emphasizes the need to share the responsibility of such important work to men as well. The point being how such a vital function to society needs greater distribution of the labor.

But helping women have the flexibility to step i to raising their own children is certainly a good thing than a lack of support but that’s not the end of the issue.

However, having kids receive quality childcare beyond their own parents isn’t the end of the world either. Spending time with your own kids os a gift. I stayed home for the first year with my first born thanks to some good fortune that made it possible. Children getting socialization, learning things and so on isn’t a bad thing though. Mothers vary on the extent which they would prefer to stay home or keep up with work and it can have different implications depending on the mothers preference.
#15317784
Puffer Fish wrote:
I question whether it provides an economic net benefit to society.



I'm just suggesting it might not be financially worthwhile for poor women to work, if it means ending up having to pay for someone else to care of the kids.
It might not really make overall economic logical sense.




It does. Pre-K not only helps the generation that receives it, it reduces crime in the next generation. By doing that, Pre-K pays for itself by reducing other costs.

It makes sense to help poor women that want to climb out of poverty, and there are a lot of them.

Clinton made a mess with his welfare reform, it's past time we fixed it.
#15317874
late wrote:It does. Pre-K not only helps the generation that receives it, it reduces crime in the next generation.

It would probably help crime just as much, if not even more, if the mother looked after her own children.

So again, I will emphasize that your argument there is not very much better than the argument that someone should look after the children, rather than a formal care setting being specially beneficial.

late wrote:It makes sense to help poor women that want to climb out of poverty, and there are a lot of them.

You don't seem to be listening to the point of my argument.
My argument here is not that mothers should not be helped, but rather that we should not be paying women to send their children away (where we only pay for it if someone else who is not the mother does the child-raising).

If you want to give women 500 a month to take care of their own child, or to help pay for their child to be in childcare, fine. But I'm just going to be against it if you're only willing to spend that money towards her if she puts the children in childcare.
That would practically be like paying her not to take care of her children (in my opinion).
#15317877
Puffer Fish wrote:My argument here is not that mothers should not be helped, but rather that we should not be paying women to send their children away (where we only pay for it if someone else who is not the mother does the child-raising).

If you want to give women 500 a month to take care of their own child, or to help pay for their child to be in childcare, fine. But I'm just going to be against it if you're only willing to spend that money towards her if she puts the children in childcare.
That would practically be like paying her not to take care of her children (in my opinion).

Then we can give parents some money regularly for childcare per child. If they want to use that money to pay for childcare fine. If they want to stay home with their own children and use the money for another purpose then also fine.
#15317881
Unthinking Majority wrote:Then we can give parents some money regularly for childcare per child. If they want to use that money to pay for childcare fine. If they want to stay home with their own children and use the money for another purpose then also fine.

My argument here, in this thread, is only that we SHOULD NOT pay for childcare if that means only paying for the mother to send her children away to someone else.

I'm against payments of money that will incentivize the woman not to take care of her own children. Plus it being a bad idea and illogical to only pay for someone else watching the child but not the child's mother.
IF taxpayer money's going to be spent, I do not want it done that way.
#15317885
Potemkin wrote:Anglo family values, @Fasces… ;)


The Chef's significant other is a Spanish-speaking Mexican woman from Michoacán state. She has two kids. She asked me why there is a functioning old-fashioned landline phone in my rental house that she is living in. I told her that a British couple from London, England had a little infant about four years ago. They were in the middle of the pandemic and their British phone numbers were not able to connect to Mexican phone numbers and or receive local calls in general. They were concerned if their baby named Jimmy I recall, got sick with COVID and it was life-threatening how they would be able to communicate? I wrote out some emergency phrases in Spanish and a script for them to follow and copied it. And got the old phone installed with a landline in there. They were relieved.

It stayed all this time. Sometimes the cell phone would die...for some reason and or the foreign tourists wanted to order pizza or tacos and could not do the delivery thing so they used my old phone landline. I also mentioned to the Chef's wife that the English couple told me they would never go back to England until much later if at all. Mexico was much cheaper and afforded them a better lifestyle and also they said everyone was super nice and considerate of their baby. They felt accepted and celebrated for having a baby. The restaurants, theaters, parks, stores, and every possible private and public space made them as a couple with a small child feel welcome. They said that was not the case in England. They said Latin Americans loved children. As long as that continued for them? They had no intention of going back to England. They would remain in Latin America and the British husband earned on one income enough to live very well in Mexico. That was not the case in England.

So the wife said, 'they do not like children in England? But children are the core of life. They are life itself. How can anyone be against children or not encourage couples that are married and young to not have kids? All this I have heard from English and European people is true? They do not like kids? That is crazy.' Her words.

Lol.

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