And then this weekend this appeared.
Ms Fox , 62-year-old author of books such as Possum Magic, Koala Lou and Where Is the Green Sheep, told News Ltd she believed society would look back on the trend of putting infants in childcare and wonder "how could we have allowed that child abuse to happen".
"I don't know why some people have children at all if they know that they can only take a few weeks off work," she said.
Mmmmm. I don't know what Mem Fox's definition of infants is, but the Australian Family Association (whoever they are) defined it as less than 2, maybe even 3.
Firstly, I am not convinced how exactly a children's author is qualified to have newsworthy opinions on the subject.
Secondly, while there is real validity in looking at all the various issues of child care - including making it viable for parents to stay home if they want to, and also ensuring real quality care is available for those who can't or don't want to - exactly what is to be gained by such ridiculous, unfounded, inflammatory statements? How dare she condemn a huge swathe of the population as child abusers.
Thirdly, my reading of most of the literature is that good quality child care ends up with different, but not better or worse outcomes than kids who stay at home. I am not sure about the situation for very young (less than 3 or 6 month olds), I haven't read enough to have an opinion. My gut says the answer could be different, but I don't know for sure. And it may just mean "good quality" means something different for very little ones.
And as for that "I don't know why some people have children at all if they know that they can only take a few weeks off work," remark. WTF?
I think I will be less reserved in my suspicions of looneyism in future...