Sunday, July 19, 2009

Where the Heck am I? Will you be my neighbor?

It has been a bit to hot for me in the last week to work much in the garden. The only times I went out in the yard last week, I was picking Raspberries or Vegetables for Dinner or I just went around looking which areas need some attention. I know, once this heat wave (which luckily never lasts too long in Western Oregon) ends I will have some work to do out there. At least I got most of the weeding somewhat in control, but there will be many Perennials which need some cutting back.
I found, having the chickens, which love to eat the weeds I pick, makes me and my husband more eagerly weeding before the weeds seed out. Before we had the chickens, we weeded to get rid of the weeds, now the weeds are welcome fodder for our flock of chickens. It somehow gives weeding a better purpose "feeding healthy 'Greens' to our chickens" and the chickens for that will give me healthy Omega rich eggs and fertilizer for my garden.
So not spending time in the garden I had time to read a lot of my piled up Newspaper. I am somewhat a Newspaper-News junkie. I religiously read the local paper everyday from front to back, no matter if the article interests me or not. I also get the larger Portland paper 'The Oregonian' in the mail, since they stopped distributing them locally. Sometimes they come in late, sometimes 3 at once, so now I often don't get to them as fast as I want. Nevertheless I pile them up and read them in order. The Oregonian often covers stories our small local paper won't cover. My husband teases me about my Newspaper reading habit.
In Germany most people read the paper religiously, even many older children and teens. We like to be informed and see it as our duty as citizens to get informed what is going on in the world around us. I don't know why that is, it is just the way we grew up. Maybe it has to do with our dark history of the Nazi era. You have to watch the people in power carefully and an independent press will tell you what you need to know. But what good is an independent press if nobody reads it?
So I just read this article about Quality of Childcare in the US.
Where I come from 'Germany' Childcare is a right, just like Education is a right and Health Care is a right. It is subsidized by the government from taxes. So the childcare situation in the US always dumbfounds me. I can not understand the philosophy of not supporting parents, so they can go to work, supporting their families, their country without having to worry who will watch over their children while they plow away. In my opinion offering childcare subsidies are a win-win situation for the government. Yes, it costs money, but what you get in return are productive citizens which can support their government with taxes, you get an educated, well adjusted future citizen, who later will be able to support their country by working.

I have to admit, 'Affordable Childcare' and 'Quality Childcare' are dear to my heart as a German educated Childcare teacher and working as a former 'Au-pair girl' and 'Nanny' when I first came to the US.
So I may be a bit biased in this Childcare thing. But something truly needs to change.
The Childcare costs are unsustainable for most parents, that means the costs for Quality Childcare. Yes, one still can find somewhat affordable childcare, but most of those are nothing more then 'parking places' for children then places which will educate your child. The end-effect is, people who have the money, will get childcare where the child will be nurtured, instead the one where the child gets parked and being stifled in it's development.
The facts are children who attend high quality programs are doing better in school, need less special ed, are more likely to be literate, more likely to graduate from High School and more likely to become productive workers.The early years in a child's life are so important for the brain development so they can succeed later in life.

To me its a no Brainer.

As I kept reading this article I came across this paragraph comparing the US to the rest of the World in policies affecting children and families. I always get a chuckle out of these US/World comparisons, because the neighborhood the USA (the most industrialized nation on this earth) shares with. Which most the times comes out to be not with the other industrialized nations but with some of the most poor, third world or backward nations or even dictatorship countries.
So I like to share with you, that the good old USA, which has no mandatory paid maternity leave in comparison with 173 countries, where 168 of these countries guarantee paid maternity leave, shares the neighborhood of 5 countries which fail to do so, which are Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, Liberia, and Swaziland. Is this the countries we want to be compared to?
Can't we do better?


Queenbuv3 said...

I have been a stay at home mom since my first child was born because I did not trust strangers with the upbringing of my children. I also wanted to be there for them and give them a sense of security. I agree with everything you said.

We have made sacrifices in money and things but we feel our children having a stable and loving childhood with their parents as the primary caregivers is more than worth it!

Single parents don't have the same option and there are other people who have to work and use child care for whatever reason. They should be able to find quality childcare at an affordable price. Our children are the future and the goverment should look at childcare as a part of building our future.

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