The Daycare Conundrum

I don't know if it is because the world has been getting more expensive, jobs have been paying less, or people have been getting more expensive tastes, but I've noticed that you seem to see a lot more families in which all of the care-givers work.  Since you don't really count as a care-giver unless you have someone to care for, more families are thus relying on daycare. It seems like a simple enough concept to get your head around, but I confuse easily, and this one has left me with questions.

I don’t know if it is because the world has been getting more expensive, jobs have been paying less, or people have been getting more expensive tastes, but I’ve noticed that you seem to see a lot more families in which all of the care-givers work.  Since you don’t really count as a care-giver unless you have someone to care for, more families are thus relying on daycare. It seems like a simple enough concept to get your head around, but I confuse easily, and this one has left me with questions.

One point of contention comes from simple logic. If there are more people using daycare, then there must be more people working daycare. These people may well have children of their own. Are they allowed to bring them to work? One would imagine that there would be no question. This is a place specifically FOR caring for children. Being able to care for kids is an essential job skill, so bringing your own kid is somewhere between on-the-job training, showing your qualifications, and brand loyalty. It would be only natural to have your employees bring their kids. You’d think that having kids would almost be a prerequisite.

Logic doesn’t always rule the day, though. Most of the people I’ve asked seem to agree that you, in fact, can’t bring your own kids to the daycare where you work. There is the feeling that it will be a conflict of interests, they claim. Evidently employers think that a daycare worker will allow the other children to starve to death and play with flaming rat poison if they have their own offspring there to distract them. This is absurd, if for no other reason than some of the parents I know would probably become a danger to their OWN children if forced to deal with them on the job every day. “No, Johnny, I don’t want to look at the booger you just picked. Daddy needs to change this baby’s diaper. No Johnny you can’t have a vampire as a pet. No Johnny, it isn’t Christmas yet. … Johnny, you know what I heard is fun? Playing tag on the highway.” Homicidal parents aside, not letting someone bring their kids to daycare is like not letting a chef eat at his own restaraunt because you are afraid he’d be too busy making his own food the most delicious ever that he would neglect the customers!

If you aren’t allowed to bring your own children to daycare with you, who are you supposed to bring them to? A different daycare? Fine, but then where do THEY bring their kids? You see what I am getting at? This policy is going to lead to an endless chain of daycares stretching across the country. I suppose technically it could loop back on itself, but that causes logistical problems. Person A works at Daycare 1. She sends her kid to Daycare 2 to be watched by Person B. Person B can’t leave to pick up his own kid until Person A comes to pick up her kid, and vice versa. This is a deadlock condition. The same problem happens to a lesser extent with the infinite daycare chain as well. Person N+1 can’t leave to pick up their kid until Person N comes to pick up theirs, so the amount of extra time needed to stay behind grows linearly with ones distance to Person Prime according to the equation Overtime = Closing Time + (Average Travel Time X N). Simple extrapolation dictates that, as N rises, Overtime approaches infinity, which is disallowed by the approximately 16 hour time constraint levied by having to attend work the following morning, barring weekends and… Ahem. Yeah.

Once I hit the point where I am doing calculus to work out a social quirk, it is about time to call it quits for the day. (Besides, the above calculations don’t account for multiple employees with staggered schedule-STOP IT!) The good news is that, contrary to popular belief, many daycares actually DO let you bring your own kids to work. It might not be free, and you might have to hand your child off to one of the other ‘teachers,’ but sure enough, the infinite chain and deadlock scenario can be avoided. It is refreshing to know that sometimes the people in charge actually use their brains. As for me? I’m going to go draw up a chart of senior citizens per capita to squirrel birth rate for urban and suburban centers to see if all of this feeding has put a potential population explosion on our hands.

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About Decoychunk

Editor, Writer, and general Knower-Of-Words, if there is text to be read on BrainLazy, Joseph Lallo probably has his fingerprints on it. As the final third of the ownership and foundation of BrainLazy, Joseph “Jo” Lallo made a name for himself when he lost the “e” from his nickname in an arm wrestling match with a witch doctor. Residing in the arid lowlands of the American Southwest, Joseph Lallo is a small, herbivorous, rabbit-like creature with the horns of an antelope. He sleeps belly up, and his milk can be used for medicinal purposes. Joseph Lallo is also author of several books, including The Book of Deacon Series, book 1 of which is available for free here.