Saturday, March 7, 2015

Let them hire nannies

Stories like this have been getting more attention. Critics have complained about the nanny state and the surveillance state and have mocked Americans’ fearfulness and inability to assess risk. I agree with a lot of those criticisms, but there’s another aspect to this kind of state intervention, too: It imposes the values (and neuroses) of the wealthy on people who can’t afford them. If kids aren’t allowed to walk to school on their own or to be latch-key kids after school, then we’ve effectively made it illegal for a huge swath of the public to have kids at all.


Anonymous said...

The people who are behind the free range parenting movement are for the most part middle and upper class.

The women who left her child in the park all day and works at McDonalds is poor. Society should be helping this women find daycare and in an ideal world her employer or the govt should be paying for it.

The problem to me is that society is not doing enough to help poor people in raising their children. Poor parents should not have to depend on the kindness of strangers when their children are home alone, getting to school, or be burdened with caring for siblings.

Chris said...

Anonymous -- I agree that society should do a lot more to support poorer families with children.

mariaconz said...

The two biggest barriers for poor parents with children (often single parents) are transportation and child care. Low-wage jobs without benefits make it very difficult to secure reliable transportation and even harder to secure reliable, quality child care.

Head Start preschool for those who qualify (and you have to be very poor to qualify) has never been funded to provide preschool for more than 33%. It's a tragedy, and Head Start preschool is a crap shoot at best. Not all teachers and teacher assistants are qualified or desirable for your children. The best are hired away by school districts who pay far more and offer benefits.