Why is the State Involved in Childcare?

by D.J. Webb

Women are forced out to work by house prices. This is the real subtext to absurd plans for the state to pay £2,000 to each working woman for childminding. With high taxes and council tax, high transport fees and high childminding bills, it is hard for women to make work pay — and the only result of their trying to do so is to push up the income on which mortgage loans are calculated, thus supporting the property Ponzi scheme.

There has been little net benefit to families from women’s entering the workplace in large numbers. Far from being a meaningful feminist cause to allow women into the work place, real feminists should have been arguing against property polices that have constantly pumped and primed the property market and forced women out to work, including those who don’t wish to work, thus palming their children off onto strangers.

Be that as it may, there seems no reason why the state should get involved with childcare. Absurdly, the reduction in universal child benefit implemented recently has been handed back — as if we have no public deficit to get down — to families in the form of this £2,000 allowance for childcare.

The government believes that the problem is that childminders are only allowed to look after 4 children, which has restricted their salaries to £13,000 a year, whereas in France most childminders have a diploma, look after 8 children, and earn £16,000 a year.

Look! Childminding is not a profession, and no qualifications are required. There is no need for children to be looked after by people with “diplomas”, or even looked after in nurseries. There should be no state limits on the number of children who can be cared for, no state stipulations as to the “nursery curriculum” (there shouldn’t be a curriculum at that age), and no state guidance as to the level of pay.

Quite simply: any mother should be entitled to open her own home to local children that she will look after for working mothers. There should be no assessment of the woman’s “risk” to children – this is another bureaucratic scam – and the general assumption that someone who is a mother (or even someone who is a woman) does not intend harm to children is likely to be just as protective of children’s welfare as the current system of bureaucratic checks — in neither case can abuse be ruled out, but the centuries-old assumption that a local woman known to the mother could be trusted to look after children is valid.

If there is a crisis in childcare, then we need to simply deregulate the “industry”. There should be no requirements for a home that offers childcare to reregister as a place of business for the local council’s purposes, and no attempts to put any other red tape in place, including medical checks, checks on the number of parking spaces for mothers dropping off children, or any other bureaucratic stipulations that would just stifle the enterprise.

We could even, if we saw that childcare was nationally scarce, allow mothers on benefits to make money by taking in children without declaring or reporting the money, and thus with no tax or benefit implications for the woman. People on long-term benefits are generally people who will never be of interest to employers, and so the notion that these people are “looking for work” or should be “forced into work” should be abandoned as unworkable. My proposal would lead to much more informal childcare becoming available, would be a cheap solution for the government, would have positive social welfare effects, including preventing children on benefits from being brought up in poverty because their mothers didn’t earn a living wage, and would be a genuine non-state solution.

The fact that the government is trying to determine how many children a carer be allowed to mind sums up the problem we are faced with. It should be a matter between the mother and her childminder.

12 responses to “Why is the State Involved in Childcare?

  1. Yes. Government policy is designed to keep up house prices – that is what all that funny money created (from nothing) by the Bank of England is for.

    It has destroyed savings – but it has kept up house prices (which was the deliberate intention of the government).

    I would stop this funny money (and abolish the Bank of England) at once – today. House prices (both for sale and for rent) would, of course, crash.

    I also believe in total deregulation of the labour market – so that wages may quickly adjust to any collapse of general prices (thus avoiding mass unemployment), and (yes) I support an end to this system of government registration of women who look after other the children of other women (or who cut hair – or whatever).

    Of course all the above opinions mark me as a “black hearted reactionary”.

    But I do not mind about that – as I am a reactionary. For example, I am hostile to baby killing – which makes me “unacceptable in liberal society” even in Ireland (North and South) these days. With the massive media propaganda campaign (again North and South) to push abortion.

    The ulitimate form of “child care” I suppose. And something that sincere Catholics and Protestants should unite to oppose the “liberal” establishment on.

  2. In the end, why do governments become involved in the “regulation” of anything at all? Merely to try to become the monopoly supplier of same, or “licensor”. What’s the difference between that and a criminal gang with its own “turf”?

    I believe that in the USSR, “officially”, the State was the only supplier of fags and tobacco: I doubt anyone would have been able to get cigars, unless they were Pilotburo” members, and had a chum in the (happily now dead) pig Castro’s den.

  3. Of course no objection to woman working, but I fail to see why tax payers
    or government should foot the bill for child care, what about the many people now who do not have children because they are unable to do so
    financially, why should they foot the bill for those who do!

  4. David is Fidel Castro dead? I had not heard.

    If he is dead I suppose I better pretend to be upset – otherwise I am a bad person (I can never get my head round the British idea that hypocrisy is a virtue).

    Anyway the reguation thing shows that Adam Smith might as well not have written a word – after all (according the government) butchers and bakers (and so on) will poison their own customers unless the wise Platonic Guardians of the government protect us.

    Karl Fenn – yes agreed.

    The government makes housing absurdly expensive (with its “cheap money” policy) thus forcing women to go out to work, and miss the growing up of their own children.

    Then it says “good news ladies – we are going to subsidise childcare”.

    Note to self – do not punch the wall, one can break one’s hand doing that.

  5. Julie near Chicago

    If Castro’s dead, Wikipedia hasn’t heard about it. And I think the Net would be all over it.

  6. Juilie, all of us have our own souces of information. David has had some good information before (on other matters) and he may be right this time – or I may have simply misinterpreted what he said.

  7. Julie near Chicago

    I understood it that way too, and given my views I wanted to see for myself what’s up, which is why I looked. I was only reporting what I found, and I certainly didn’t intend to sound waspish, although I can see how one could take it that way, nor to cast aspersions at Mr. Davis in any way.

  8. Julie – one of the problems I have (not in relation to David Davis – but generally) is that although I was born in Britain and have been here most of my life (only going overseas to do this-and-that) I do not actually understand the culture. For example in England (less so in Scotland or Wales – and certainly not in Ulster) hypocrisy (pretending to have one emotion when you actually have the opposite emotion) is considered a virtue.

    Actually I find David Davis refeshing – as he normally says what he actually thinks, so I am not left baffled thinking “what does this person really mean – what game are they playing”, as I so often am in this country.

  9. Julie near Chicago

    I think quite a few of us share your “problem,” Paul. I know I do. Only I’m always trying to figure out “how do I speak honestly without treading on any landmines?” It gets very tiresome at times. :>)

  10. Yes it does Julie. Especially when one’s “message” gets twisted round 180 degrees.

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