Opinion: Child care is good for children, for mothers, for everyone
MONTREAL, QUE.: JUNE 18, 2012-- Children in daycare hold on to a rope as they walk with an adult in Rosemont in Montreal on Monday, June 18, 2012. (Dario Ayala/THE GAZETTE)

On the surface child care seems like a simple issue. Surely it’s just about having somewhere safe for kids to be looked after by women other than their mothers while their often low-income mums work? Simple, right?

The truth is that child care has broader and deeper implications and reaches into our families, our communities and our economy far more than most realize.

Let’s start with children. It’s not just about being safe. In the 21st century, given what we know about the importance of the early years on brain development, life-long health and success, we want children to be in environments that are designed for learning through play, no matter what the employment status of their mothers. We want early childhood educators who know about the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of children and provide stimulating learning environments and high-quality care.

Because when a parent uses child care it’s not a replacement for or abdication of their parenting. Rather, it’s an extension of and complement to their parenting.