Wednesday, November 02, 2005

What're working parents to do?

Salon ran an interesting article on good day care options -- or, more accurately, the lack of them. The Salon analysis was an expansion of an NYT article that appeared Tuesday and covered three studies put out recently be researchers.

The findings boil down to this: kids that stay at home with a parent or attend limited pre-school (1/2 day or less) tend to be more well-adjusted than those that go to day care all day.

From Salon:

But, says [UC Berkeley Professor Bruce] Fuller, it's important to remember that this data isn't about parental failings; rather, it's "symptomatic of a larger problem in American society," where more often than not, both parents have to work. If anything, these findings should embolden us as a community to "nudge employers to adjust the structure at work for young parents."

I think this is an excellent point and needs to be talked about more in conversations on education policy. The years before school begins are critically important and studies like Fuller's (which included a sampling of over 14,000 5-year olds) show that having parents home makes a big impact. So why shouldn't government encourage businesses to allow workers flex-time arrangements?


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