Day Care and Dependency

A New York single mother of four is upset that city budget cuts might jeopardize the day-care program that her four-year-old daughter attends in Brooklyn:

Ms. Fernandez said that in the year that she had attended the program, Amira had become much more sociable and had learned basic skills: “She knows how to write her name and last name, she knows how to count to 20, and she knows the colors.”

Ms. Fernandez said her older daughter, now 16, did not go to a similar program and struggled in kindergarten — something she hopes that Amira can avoid.

Amira could avoid such a struggle if Ms. Fernandez taught Amira those basic skills herself. Is that too much to ask? But the larger the government grows, the more parents offload their responsibilities onto it — from feeding, to socializing, to reading to their children.

Needless to say, the parents highlighted in the New York Times’s story are all poor single mothers. Single motherhood and big government are symbiotic and co-dependent. If the administration of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg really wanted to make a dent in city welfare outlays, it would use its bully pulpit to support marriage and fatherhood, which have a much greater effect on children’s well-being than decreased consumption of transfats and salt.

Heather Mac Donald — Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and the author of the New York Times bestseller The War on Cops

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