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New Century Children.

Dr. Sandra Scarr, one of the country's most influential researchers on child care, has described a vision of the "new century's ideal children." Historically, most American children have enjoyed the caring presence of a stay-home mother. New Century Children, however, "will need shared care," contends Scarr.

The meaning of Scarr's term "shared care" can be deduced from the fact that she is a board member of KinderCare, the nation's largest day-care provider. "Since the 1970s," observes Brian C. Robertson in his new book Day Care Deception, "Scarr has published over two hundred articles and four books related to day care ... and her impact on how others approach research in these fields is inestimable.... Her 1984 book Mother Care/Other Care set out to debunk the notion that the bond between mother and child is of unique importance and that disrupting that bond will cause a child grave harm."

In her 1984 book, Scarr contends "that a baby has no particular need for its biological mother" and that "mothers are simply culturally conditioned to believe that their nurturing is vital for their child." Scarr views the newborn infant as something less than human: "[T]heir brains are Jell-O and their memories akin to those of decorticate [skinless] rodents," she asserted in a 1987 interview with the New York Times.

Like most people who lust to restructure society, Scarr doesn't shy away from the prospect of forcing people to conform to her ideological blueprint. And like Brezhnev-era Soviet commissars, Scarr eagerly denounces opposition to the Brave New World she envisions as a form of illness. Since "being isolated at home with one adult and no peers" is socially harmful, it "should not be permitted," she contends. As the drive to create the rootless, socialized New Century Children continues, "Multiple attachments to others will become the ideal. Shyness and exclusive maternal attachment will be seen as dysfunctional. New treatments will be developed for children with exclusive maternal attachments (EMA syndrome) and those with low sociability scores."

Indeed, the entire day-care apparatus could be viewed as a means of "treating" American children excessively attached to home and family, and insufficiently devoted to collective life. A 1997 taxpayer-funded study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) found that "the more time children spent in day care, the less affection they showed for their mothers--and the less their mothers showed for them--when they were studied at three years of age," notes Robertson.

The official NICHD press release touted this result as a success, boasting that "quality child care ... can also lead to better mother-child interaction...." "Better," that is, to those whose objective is to destroy the mother-child bond (oh, excuse me--eradicate the "EMA syndrome" plague).

Professor Jay Belsky, a chief researcher for the NICHD report, began his career advocating day care. Over the decades, however, his convictions were eroded by what he described as "a slow, steady trickle of evidence" demonstrating that institutionalizing children in day care is linked to subsequent social and behavioral problems. At a 2001 NICHD press conference, Belsky stunned his colleagues by admitting as much. Within days, Belsky was subjected to the academic and media equivalent of a Communist Chinese "struggle session." He was denounced as an "extremist," an enemy of "women's rights," and an eccentric, and he was accused of dishonest research methods.

"I thought that ... he was invited to represent the party line," complained Sarah Friedman, a colleague of Belsky. What, exactly, is that "party line"? A useful summary is provided by Dr. Edward Zigler, architect of Head Start and a prominent day-care advocate: "Our job isn't to dissuade mothers from using child care by sending up these horror stories. Our real task is to do a public education campaign with parents to get quality care." Belsky said of the ideologically driven effort to purge him: "I sometimes feel I'm in the old Soviet Union, where only certain facts are allowed to be facts, and only certain news is allowed to be news."

Ironically, Dr. Zigler himself admits that our nation's day-care experiment has been "a major cause of the biggest increase in the rate of child violence and depression that our country has ever witnessed." Clinical studies have found that day care--better described as the collectivist cattle-penning of children by hired strangers--dramatically increases the incidence of infectious diseases, including influenza, hepatitis, and meningitis. In 1991, one noted medical researcher bluntly described daycare centers as "the open sewers of the twentieth century."

But the dominant ideology of the modern welfare state dictates that the road to an egalitarian Brave New World runs through the open sewer of government-funded day care. At the end of that road we may find a whole cohort of New Century Children like Dylan Klebold--day-care alumnus turned Columbine killer.
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Title Annotation:The Last Word
Author:Grigg, William Norman
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 8, 2003
Words:797
Previous Article:Bug-loving bureaucrats.
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