“Day Care” (The Childhood Equivalent to “Day Shelter”)

Day Care is a modern invention.  And considering where our society is… Thank God for it.  BUT shouldn’t we have thought this through before we got to this point?

Okay… I will say something positive:  Those ladies I met there this morning were competent, caring, professionals.  They have all the bases covered.  I have every reason to trust these children to them and no reason not to.  I was invited to drop in and check on the kids again “anytime”, which I am grateful for.

But when God designed creation, he did NOT stock it with “competent, caring, professionals” to look after the children.  No.  He did not invent such a bureaucracy of paper work, insurance policies, checks-n-balances – or professionalism.  Instead, God entrusted vulnerable children to LOVING parents.

The fact that I am providing foster care already suggests that something is wrong with God’s plan!  (However, I am quick to point out that it’s not God’s plan that is at fault, but our unwillingness to comply!)  I would offer this observation: Not only have we strayed from the design of creation, but our “fix” – our “improvements” – move us further away all the time.  I mean, despite the wonderful people down there at the Day Care, they are only “necessary” in a world that insists children should be gone from home all day, which is the order of a world that insists parents should be gone from home all day.

And the thing that blows my mind – I mean just stuns me at the core – is how many readers I have here (Christians readers too) who have not ever before, and cannot even now, imagine a world where our lives actually revolve around and are centered at HOME!  We have done a fine job of imagining our need to “go to work” (which amounts to leaving home each day), our need to go to school (which mostly means leaving home each day), our desire of growing up and “leaving home” (which is a cultural phenomena) for college or work.  And with all this routine abandonment of a “functional” home and family, we wonder why there is so much divorce and “broken homes”!

In reality, our whole culture is homeless.  Even those of us paying rent and mortgages!  And by far, most of us homeless people are NOT free-loading bums!  Most of us are living paycheck-to-paycheck with a lot of stress that keeps taking us further away from home!  Those free-loading bums who drop off the edge or fall through the cracks are perhaps a lot closer to the reality, even amid gross addictions, than those of us “sober” working people living in denial!

Anyway, I got in the car to drive back “home” without the kids so that I can clean and prepare myself for work this evening.  And as I turned my head to look out the back window as I backed out of my parking spot, I saw two empty car seats where just moments ago sat two precious angels talking to me the whole way there.  The silence was deafening.  It broke my heart.  I wanted to go back in and grab the children, take them HOME and teach them what a HOME really is!

And no matter how good that Day Care center is, it can NEVER do that!  (Same goes for Day Shelters.)



  1. Ronald S. Exum · June 17, 2016

    My first self selected graduate research project was to examine the deficiencies of Day Care. So like all well researched ideas I began a review of the literature (step 1).

    Soon I discovered something I was totally unprepared for. Yes, Day Cares are not all the same practicing the “best standards”. That wasn’t the surprise, no what was my shock was that children there come from a wide continuum of homes from seriously abusive to highly well functioning. That means that Day Care is the nearest thing to heaven on earth for some children. I was asleep on that point. Granted it’s not Grandmother’s house for a great many, and they may in some cases be the majority, they are reasonably well cared for.

    No Day Care for children coming from the better homes is a step down, but given the financial situation of a great many families there are no loving parents at home to care for a great number of children. Day Care is a necessity for a wide number, perhaps even at home.

    No only do many children receive better care in Day Care, but they may encounter more children who are socially more normal than in their personal neighborhood. This allows them to interact with healthier kids. Like adult group therapy this environment will mean they are encouraged to become their better selves. Alas, tis true, kids from more socially adept homes also will suffer being challenged to maintain their better habits. Of course, we know many will return home and act out in ways their own parents did not expect. And that means their parents are forced to deal with this.

    Is that necessarily bad? Doesn’t also suggest the relationships in the healthier home can be strengthen further?

    Public even private schools have similar affects on students and their parents. Those Day Cares and Schools that are able to gain an alliance with the healthy families can help bridge the often complained about divide.

    So, then you include others in the parenting process a huge mistake is to assume there is no need for parents and caretakers to meet and work together much like when families have step-parents in the mix.

    A lot to consider, but I’ve only just begun!


  2. Agent X · June 17, 2016

    Thanx for the input. Thanx for highlighting a few bright spots.

    However, I think you have really only reinforced the overall point. Day Care is something akin to a “necessary evil”. “Evil” is a strong word for it, but despite all the complexities (some good, some bad), Day Care was never the design of the Creator, but a coping mechanism put in place by culture builders which allows the building of this culture to continue down it’s path away from HOME.

    I recall Robert Bly’s assertion that “the downfall of Western civilization” takes root in the Industrial Revolution. Bly was part of what used to be called THE MEN’s MOVEMENT, which was somewhat of a pendulum swing from the WOMEN’s MOVEMENT. He was interested in revitalizing manliness and fatherhood etc. And he saw the Industrial Revolution taking fathers away from the HOME on a mass scale for the first time in world history.

    And one of Bly’s most profound statements was that no matter how good a mother could be, she could not teach her sons to be men.

    Here I am working day and NIGHT caring for foster kids whose home has become poisoned to them. Hopefully those parents will work that out soon and take their kids back, but that is not really the trend of this society. In the meantime, come what may, they are with the Agent X household where they are prayed for, cared for, and loved with the experience of parenting and professionalism combined to surely improve their daily life tremendously – even if only temporarily. But what the kids really need is good parents with a decent home.

    We are substitutes. But we do the best we can. AND meanwhile, we brush them off on other substitutes – Day Care.

    If we lived in a Christian/agricultural society, something of a particularly American ideal, I am sure, then there would be lots of aunts and uncles, cousins, and brothers and sisters, not to mention two sets of grandparents all in close proximity and all known as FAMILY. This FAMILY would exist within the realm of church family as well, which would permeate, if not pretty much round out, the rest of the community. There would be no anonymity. The child rearing would be full of support and advice from other family, and not sold as a commodified service provided by strangers and covered by insurance policies.

    And kinda like Bly pointed out with regard to mothers and sons, I must say that no matter how good the service, it cannot create HOME. And like the question I posted a few posts back, “WHAT IS HOME?” I did not offer my answer to it, but I see God’s hand in it creating something fairly drastically different from what we have settled for as we built a culture that largely excludes him.


  3. LoiterLarry · June 17, 2016

    Schizophrenic Voices.

    Some tell you Day Care is a good thing. Some say it is bad. Some say all manner of things in between or even beyond.

    They were heard in the deafening silence of empty car seats. They are heard in the “sign here… sign here… initial here…”

    Don’t get paranoid, now, but I have just one question: Did you fill out a 27B/6?


  4. GraceandTruth · June 20, 2016

    I love this article. It is very timely for me actually! I am a stay-at-home mum and yesterday my 11 year old daughter made the comment that I paint (my Christian artwork) because I don’t have much else to do. She didn’t mean it to be nasty but I could tell that she was embarrassed that I am the only mother of all her friends that doesn’t go out of the home to work. I realise she is young and doesn’t get it, but it still hurt. I hope and pray that one day she will see the value in me staying home. So I needed this article today….:)


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