Timeout New York Kids

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Issue of the week: Is day care good for kids?

I've never been able to bring myself to hire a nanny. There are several reasons: 1) I can't wrap my brain around the idea of having my very own employee, 2) I'm uncomfortable with the idea of someone tooling around my apartment every day (I don't want to have to be that vigilant about my family's dirty clothes), and 3) I like day care. OK, not every day care. But I loved my daughter's family day care provider. A small group of Russian women, they were warm and maternal with my daughter, and provided her with homemade lunches like organic vegetable stew (!). (I have to admit, she sometimes ate better at day care than at home.) And yet, despite my almost entirely positive experience, I've often been put on the defensive while talking about child care. Some parents have reacted with snobbery or cool contempt. One told me that she just couldn't bring herself to use day care after "you know, it was so hard to get pregnant in the first place." Another told me that she'd love to use a day care center, but she couldn't imagine finding one that met her exacting standards. Nice. Media stories about the inadequacy, if not the downright horror, of day care long ago became clich. So I was thrilled to see Emily Bazelon's retort (and excellent reporting) on Slate in response to the latest blitz on how day care is destroying the new generation. Anyone else happy to see good news on day care? Do you love your day care (or hate it)?

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