Promoting childcare is unproductive insanity

If there is anything that meets the definition of stupidity with absolute perfection, it is having the Productivity Commission write a report to promote childcare.

Childcare, by its very nature, is inefficient. And a reliance on childcare actually subverts parental care, which is the most productive thing that anyone can do to raise good citizens and build a sustainable society.

However, as logic is not the strongest point of most people walking around Australia today, this fact might not be readily apparent. So I’ll explain why this is the case in two very short, simple sentences.

Efficient, productive parents raise their children. Unproductive parents get someone else to do it.

Or, in case the message has not sunk in, I’ll put it another way.

Getting mothers into the workforce by subsidising someone else to look after their children is simply a drain on society. It’s an exercise in futility. Once you take out taxes, pay for the bureaucracy and wade through the regulations, the mother’s ‘productivity’ has already been used. There is not going to be much leftover to pay for the childcare worker employed to do the mother’s primary job. That means quality is necessarily sacrificed to make ends meet.

And this is exactly what happens with childcare. The child is placed in a situation where they have less attention from the ‘carer’ because her time is split among many more children. And the ‘carer’ does not have the same knowledge of that child’s needs, talents, requirements or personality. The childcare worker might be brilliant and have all best intentions in the world. But she will never be a mother to someone else’s child.

Of course, there is a place for childcare, and nannies, and babysitters and grandparents. They help parents achieve all sorts of things. But state-subsidised childcare does not help society become more productive. In fact, it promotes the most inefficient form of care possible and lumps the bill home to taxpayers. The very fact that the state is now subsidising something that used to be done freely and from the motivation of parental love is a pretty big hint of that.

And yet the Federal government has asked the Productivity Commission to think about all the new ways in which the state can encourage parents to offload their children into someone else’s care.

If you open its draft report, you will see that it’s titled Childcare and Early Childhood Learning.

And the very first words in its Terms of Reference are:

“I, Joseph Benedict Hockey, Treasurer…”

And just a little down the page it goes on:

The Australian Government is committed to establishing a sustainable future for a more flexible, affordable and accessible child care and early childhood learning market that helps underpin the national economy and supports the community, especially parent’s choices to participate in work and learning and children’s growth, welfare, learning and development.

And right there, you basically have all the reasons why our whole entire society is upside down.

The Federal Government thinks that parents, given the choice, would rather be working than with their children. Families are not seen as the most important and fundamental part of society. Rather, they are simply viewed as cogs to be exploited in order to grow the ‘economy’. And education is not about the development of a person so that they reach their full potential and dignity as a human. Instead, it’s just seen as the means by which someone can make a quick buck. And then pay tax. To Mr Hockey.

That’s why the man in charge of the nation’s treasure sees childcare as nothing more than an economic input. He believes that more childcare is required to ensure that increasing numbers of parents, specifically women, slave away at work. Away from their children. And right down the end of the priority list comes children’s welfare.

At least that’s in there, I suppose. Strengthening family does not even get a mention at all. And there is a good reason for this. More reliance on childcare has nothing to do with strong families and everything to do with weakening them further.

But back to the report. If you read on just a little further, you will find this boast:

“The Australian Government is the largest funder of the [childcare] sector, with outlays exceeding $5 billion a year and growing.”

That’s right. Parents are not the largest funder of this sector. The government is. This makes no sense at all considering that parents are primarily responsible for their children and governments are not.

But anyway, that’s the system we live with.

So how is it going?

Luckily, the Productivity Commission can tell us. It’s not going well at all. The commissioners might have put it bluntly and simply said the system was an expensive failure. But they chose to use these words instead:

“families are struggling to find quality child care and early learning that is flexible and affordable enough to meet their needs and to participate in the workforce”

Remember, this report boasts in the sentence immediately before that damning finding that the government is the biggest funder of this sector and forks out $5 billion a year on it. And yet it is a struggle to find any quality, flexibility or affordability in this system at all.

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I guess that’s always bound to happen when the parents of a nation collectively outsource the care of their children to Joseph Benedict Hockey and his bureaucrats simply so they can toil away as cog-like slaves for the unforgiving god known as ‘The Economy’.

It’s also no surprise that an investigation that meets all the definitions of stupidity will contain statements that have gone well past the idiotic.

Like this beauty:

“The use of grandparents raises another issue: older Australians, usually women are leaving the workforce or reducing their working hours to care for children. Productivity is still lost in this scenario although different groups of women are affected.”

Hullo? Is there anybody home?

Did this report just note that caring for children was unproductive because it took women out of the workforce?

Well, yes, it did. It stated that productivity is lost when grandmothers look after their grandchildren. Obviously, it must also then be unproductive if mothers look after their children too. And going by that logic, the most productive state possible would be one in which no one cared for children and all the adults were at work, being ‘productive’. There’s no need for childcare workers at all.

Luckily, the Productivity Commission is so mired in a morass of illogical thought that it has not yet reached the rational dead end of its unsound reasoning. But it is headed in that general direction.

Along the way, it just recommended that taxpayer funded childcare benefits should be extended to grandparents – provided they go to TAFE first and learn how to look after children. I hate to break it to the Productivity Commission, but the fact that someone has become a grandparent is a pretty good indication that they know how to look after children long enough for them not to die on the way to becoming parents themselves.

But bureaucracy is not interested in facts and is more concerned with standards and certificates and insane courses.

There is a bright side to this. The Productivity Commission’s report is a hefty 870 pages long. And that means no one sitting in the federal parliament is actually going to read it.

Hopefully, instead, politicians might read two short simple recommendations that will help all parents.

  1. Get out of the business of childcare. It’s not the government’s job. Instead, do something useful, like lowering taxes or building dams on our drought-stricken continent.
  2. If the government is going to insist on interfering in the roles and responsibilities of families, at least treat all families the same. Give equal pay for equal work and pay all mothers a set amount per child. Let them decide how to spend the money on the ‘childcare’ of their choice. If that means mothers keep it because they want to do the job themselves, let them. That’s called flexibility. And they’ll probably do a better job. That’s called quality. And it will make their decision to spend time with their children more financially viable. That’s called affordability. Even the Productivity Commission recognises that the current system is lacking in all these three areas.

It’s that simple.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of nine children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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  1. Further to my above comment: My daughter-in-law who started working recently is working in the Childcare Ind. After having been a stay-at-home mum and still raising 4 happy children, she had to do a Certificate course in Childcare and put in about 100 + hours of unpaid childcare to get her Certificate to show she has the ability to look after children. Something’s crazy with this world.

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  2. How refreshing it is to hear someone call it like ‘it really is’. The politicians and others always saying about the families nowadays that the ‘mothers HAVE to work’ just makes me angry. It is a lie. My son and his wife have four children. He was just 21 and she 20 when they married. His wife didn’t work (outside the home) until just recently and the youngest is now 14. And they managed. They have a house which they’re paying off (like everyone) but they managed. Sure, it’s a small one. They also now have a good car. They’re happy. So I don’t believe that mothers these HAVE to work. And let’s face it, families of old only got a child endowment and they managed. Families these days get so much more from the govt. Even money for having a baby. All at taxpayers expense. But I think it’s all a bit of a ploy to break families up. Destroy the family, destroy society. I also became a single mother, after being left by my husband when my children were small. I managed without putting my children into childcare ( which in those days you paid for yourself.) I worked all my life and now own my house. So it can be done, without the help of govt. Taxes should not be wasted in this way.

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  3. While you might decry childcare – it is a product of the system we live in. As a single mother where the father of my baby abandoned me while i was pregnant – I was forced to work in order to have a roof over me and my child’s head. Subsidised childcare allowed me to eat and pay my bills yet even then I was still surviving at only just above a subsistence level. I resent the years that I was denied watching my son grow because I had to make money for a boss in order to provide myself and my child with the basics. I would much rather have stayed at home – but the single parent pension did not equate to being able to pay commericial rent so I would have been homeless and had my baby taken off me. It is now even harder for single mums as the pension has already been cut to newstart level – so we have to work even harder to support our children and see less of them. Just what do you propose are our options are when fleeing violence with our children or abandoned by the children’s father? At the moment it is work and subsidised childcare. Maybe put in a better safety net for mothers and kids before you critisise our “choice” to work and leave our kids in care.

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    • Hi Katherine – thank you for your post. I do not oppose childcare altogether. I oppose childcare when it is used as an argument to increase productivity. This is simply another way of saying women should be working and not with their children. As you state, you resent this ‘decision’ being forced on you and I can understand why. Not all families work. A compassionate society will help those that don’t. Childcare is an option here (although I would not say it is the best – I always believe it is best for mothers to be with their children, especially before they reach school).

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      • Link unavailable – but I am interested to hear what he has to say

      • My son is not a sin or a crime – I am extremely proud of him, he has grown into a young man who works hard at his job and knows the value of money and work, he is able to cook, clean up after himself and is very independent at a young age as nothing has been handed to him on a plate. He is kind to children and animals and aspires to a university education. I have no regrets about the “sin” I committed in making him. I have no shame in myself as I have fulfilled my responsibilities as a parent well and taught him good values and he grew up with lots of love. It is the irresponsible father that took off and provided no support to his growing son that committed the sin here not me.

  4. How to create a communist/socialist state by Saul Alinsky (Obama’s favourite philosopher):
    There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.
    1) Healthcare Control healthcare and you control the people
    2) Poverty Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
    3) Debt Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
    4) Gun Control Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
    5) Welfare Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)
    6) Education Take control of what people read and listen to and take control of what children learn in school.
    7) Religion Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools
    8) Class Warfare Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
    Alinsky merely simplified Vladimir Lenin’s original scheme for world conquest by communism, under Russian rule. Stalin described his converts as “Useful Idiots.” The Useful Idiots have destroyed every nation in which they have seized power and control.

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    • You’re certainly on the ball Rory,while Sport and entertainment[especially gaming] are very useful in destracting the masses from all that is going on, and one of the reasons I object to having a television in my house.Its quiet simple and not all that clever really, but 95%of people are brainwashed into a false reality and still can’t figure it out.

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  5. “Childcare” is used by communist governments in much the same way as “women’s health”.
    “Women’s health” is now little more than another euphemism for abortion, tubal ligation, chemical/mechanical contraception and ironically also in vitro fertilisation (which typically involves discarding excess stock/babies).
    “Childcare” means looking to state-run or state-sponsored or other atheistic institutes for guidance rather than trusting your God-given parents.

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  6. Yet another attack on the building block of society, The Family. Great article Bernie, well written.

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    • Appreciate the feedback Rossco.

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  7. “childcare” the very word makes me shudder. Today Children are a commodity to have but not to raise, but raised by someone else, and when problems arise the parents claim that “its not my problem, what do I pay childcare workers for”? attitude.
    when an economy does not support the family unit, it goes down the gurgler, I refuse to have anything to do with the current system, as it is detrimental to the normal development of childen to be raised as upstanding citizens. For the hand who rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world.

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  8. Unfortunately many modern Australian feminazis don’t want to stay at home and raise children. They’ll use abortion and contraception to destroy or prevent children, and if any escape those traps, they sure as hell aren’t going to get in the way of their mothers’ climb up the corporate ladder! Part of the problem is the education system/propaganda machine which has raised these feminazis in the first place.

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    • My understanding is that if you Scratch a feminazi you will uncover a lesbian which is why child rearing is unimportant to them.

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  9. The childcare system is a way for immigrants to get a visa and stay in Australia – that is one of the main reasons why the system does not work – the people who are looking after the children are only there for their own interests…….. The mothers would rather be at home with their children, but they can’t afford to do this, so they have to leave their children with people who can barely speak; read or write English, and they have to suffer the guilt of leaving their babies with these foreigners. The mothers should be paid to stay at home and nurture their children so that they can grow up in a loving and caring environment and, in turn, grow into secure contributors to this once great country…………………..

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  10. I have been reading articles lately which state that the Australian government has provided millions of dollars to raise the quality of childcare in Australia; but cannot understand why the quality of Australian child care has stayed at such a poor level. Well, I can tell everyone why this is. It is because there are hundreds of 457 visa immigrants who enrol in the child care course because they are told two main things about this industry. The first one is that the course is really easy and they will have no trouble gaining a qualification; and the second one is that there are lots of jobs and they will have no difficulty gaining employment, and, as a result, will get to stay in Australia. The VET (Vocational Education and Training)sector is so corrupt with dozens of privately run RTOs (Registered Training Organisations) virtually giving away qualifications. Yes, that is right, virtually giving them away. The trainers are told to ignore the poor literacy of these students and just let them slide through the course. The trainers are also told to ignore the plagiarism of these people, so that they can gain qualifications without having any understanding of the content knowledge of the courses. The system is so corrupt, and there is so much money to be made from these students that the RTOs are making millions of dollars with very little effort. The auditors who are supposed to oversee the quality of training in these institutions only ever look at the highest qualification which is trained for each course, which means that if an RTO trains both Cert. III and diploma of child care, then only the diploma will be scrutinized, and so the Cert. III can be handed out at random with no checks and balances taking place. The frightening thing is that Australian mothers are leaving their precious babies with totally incompetent childcare staff, many of whom can barely speak a coherent word of English. This is a deplorable situation and should be rectified immediately. If you have doubts about the people who are working in the centre where your child is enrolled, you need to stand up and question what is going on before some terrible accident happens and it is too late. Do not fear being called racist – your child’s well being is being compromised – all for the sake of the almighty dollar!!!!!!

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