Child Care Today. Dr. Penelope Leach ‘getting it right for everyone’.

Life as a mum is nothing but eventful. Woke up to Babes insisting she wanted to eat carrots for breakfast. I’d already cooked porridge which she usually loves and it’s always better she eats it straight away as (like me) she really needs her slow-burning carbs. A major meltdown ensued. We usually have at least one a day, which is pretty good going for a four year old, I feel. This one was longer than most and lasted at least half an hour. Thank goodness we’re not due at school this morning. It’s been a staggered start for the past three weeks, two hours a day, first mornings – then afternoons. An unsettling pattern for us as we like our routine.

Eventually I was able to bring out the porridge. And the carrots. Things had just quietened down and were looking a lot better when the phone rang. More good news. It was the editor of the international Quaker journal ‘The Friend’. Following the opinion piece and the news piece they published last week  they’re going to print a short and very bold initial statement from me about the parental exemption refusal. So, readers, look out for that in The Friend on Thursday. I’m really glad it’s going to see the light of print.

The postman arrived with the book I’d ordered. Dr. Penelope Leach (2009) : “Child Care Today”.  Other parents told me she’s been talking sense for a good while, but I’ve only recently discovered her. That’s partly because I did my Postgraduate Certificate in ‘Adult Education’ so until Babes came along, I suppose I hadn’t really engaged with Early Years issues that much. Up until fairly recently, that is.

“Child Care Today” – is about ‘getting it right for everyone’.  It sounds like jolly good sense and I’m really looking forward to dipping into it. Here’s a short quote from the book jacket:

“Leach sees “work-home balance” as being the major conundrum of the day. She delineates the challenge of fitting children’s unchanged needs into society’s changing demands and the dilemma of today’s parents needing to be in two places at once. She describes in detail the various ways Western countries address that challenge: care given by parents, extended family, and non family; care provided in the child’s home, in other homes, and in professional settings; childcare funded by paying parents or the government. Considering the issues from the various viewpoints of politicians, policy makers professionals, parents, and children themselves, the author discusses the impact of each kind of care on children of different ages”.

Sounds just up my street right now – especially since the book is extremely relevant to the U.S. and I have lots of American readers from my work on Helium. Don’t exactly know how I’m going to find time to read it, but that’s the issue, in a nutshell, isn’t it?

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