In response to an editorial printed June 22 on improving child care, I earnestly agree with the article's premise that child care is in dire need of improvement. However, I offer a time-tested alternative to institutional child care - parental commitment and sacrifice.
To show that parental child care vs. institutionalized child care is still possible and to dispel the myth that two-parent households can't "afford" one parent to stay home, I offer firsthand experience.In two weeks, my husband will graduate with a Ph.D. This after six years of marriage, two children and an average annual income of $15,000. When our first child was born, we made a decision that I would devote my education and talents to provide security, to instill honesty, courage, respect and morality and to love and care for our children rather than to pursue a career. We are virtually debt-free and have never used any form of government assistance. This has required a strict budget, shoes from Payless instead of Dillards, maternity insurance rather than a new car, dates to free art museums instead of "Titanic," feeding the ducks rather than Disneyland, basketball at the church instead of golf, and an apartment void of a master suite and Jacuzzi.
As a result of these "sacrifices," we are assured that our child-care provider will discipline our children when necessary, teach them morality and compassion, carefully monitor their entertainment, kiss them better when they hurt, be home when they arrive from school with problems and questions, encourage development of their unique qualities and sincerely strive for their success and long-term happiness.
We have many friends in similar situations who are "affording" to have one parent stay home and care for the children.
Anything worth having requires commitment and sacrifice. A future full of hope and opportunity for our children is not only worth having, it is critical to the survival of our society. Committed parents are the only effective vehicle to that future. As current trends continue, who can afford not to stay home?
Marcia M. Ventura