Childcare Or Home Care?

A few years ago the Swedish parliament passed legislation that provided financial support for parents who did not wish to send their child to a publicly funded day care and preferred spending some additional time with their child at home before going back to work. As always, the best laid plans of humans has an unintended consequence. Many immigrant parents are requesting the payment for their child and keeping the youngster at home instead of sending them to a day care school. In one area of Stockholm, the number of parents requesting the payment has doubled which resulted in the closing of two preschools due to lack of children.

The switch to home care over day care means many children of immigrants remain living in a segregated world and delay encountering children of diverse background until they enter a public school. Undoubtedly, this hampers development of language skills, but we should not panic. Most people of my generation who were children of immigrants arrivingt in the 1920s in America lived in a segregated world, and it did not impair our lives or development of language skills. Calm down, the sky is not falling.