In The Atlantic Blog, I read an article about women working and putting their children in daycare. This is a controversial subject because many people seem to look at the situation as either 1) enslaving the women at home or 2) liberating them from their bonds and letting them work. I don’t see it that way.
Personally, I think that it would have made all the difference in my life to have a mother at home. Economically, this article points out that a mother’s raising of her children is an investment that will provide great benefits in the future. The investment cannot be better made by anyone other than the mother.
The blogger points to research that shows that prekindergarten (day care or preschool) can increase the child’s performance in English and Math, but it can also increase behavioral problems and lack of self-control. Economically, if a mother wants to see a return on her investment, she must weigh the costs of behavioral and self-control problems vs. money earned at work. Later on in life, when the parents are retired, what type of return on that investment will the mother receive? Will the child be successful in life and be able to support the parents? On the other hand, will the parents be able to support themselves and their children?