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Soviets Tried Government Nurseries; They Failed Miserably

Posted By: Susan Williams on October 3, 2008
I'm totally against any child care and preschool that is government-run. Those functions rightly belong to the family and the private sector.

Taxpayer subsidies are OK to defray part or all costs for the truly poor who need child care and preschool services. But those populations are nowhere near the 100% of parents that these "universal" programs are designed to undertake.

Remember, Head Start delivers NO long-term benefits. Any academic advantage for Head Start kids completely disappears by third grade. In fact, kids who did NOT attend a Head Start actually graduate more often and have better futures than those who DID attend a Head Start. It's a colossal waste of time and money. We should be working our way OUT of the Head Start model, not driving ourselves deeper into it.

We need private-sector initiatives and parent-to-parent mentoring to help the 10% to 20% of the population who really don't know how to successfully parent a young child and don't have a decent support network of family and friends to help guide them.

But we DON'T need a Soviet-style, across-the-board, government-controlled early childhood education program for the entire pre-k population, because it will destroy our country.

I am a big believer in preschool, but PART-TIME preschool -- in homes, churches and private nonprofits and for-profits -- with homey, nurturing, relaxed, creative atmospheres and a huge diversity in curriculum. We have NOOOOOO business attempting to "standardize" the sandbox set!!! Human beings are not widgets; you don't "build" a smart student by bringing small children "up to specs." :>)

The main thing government-run preschool programs destroy is the parent-child bond of understanding, trust and love. The government steps in between and divides and conquers that natural attachment. It doesn't matter how rich or poor, competent or incompetent the parent is. When someone else is perceived by the young child as the caregiver for very much of the pre-k time span, the child gets confused, anxious and angry.

When you destroy that bond and the emotional power of security and attachment that comes from being reared by your own parent, and not someone paid to do it, the most common reaction is aggression.

We already see that in the wave of children now in our schools who were the first to have 40-hour+ out-of-home child care, latchkey programs at school, all-day kindergarten, etc. The more government-run and government-structured their day, the WORSE they are developing as students and citizens.

Unless we WANT even more desperately angry, emotionally-deprived, intellectually-fractured and behaviorally disturbed children in this country, we had better do an about-face RIGHT NOW and quit even thinking about a system of government pre-k.
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 Soviets Tried Government Nurseries; They Failed Miserably by Susan Williams on October 3, 2008
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