Sunshine Coast Daily 16 September 2014
A RESPECTED pediatrician and vice-president of the leading advocacy body for prevention of child abuse and neglect says leaving babies in long-day care can be a form of child abuse.
Dr Sue Packer, Canberra’s 2013 Citizen of the Year, also believes lack of communication between parents and their children when young could be a contributing factor to Australia’s alarming rate of depression and suicide in youths.
“There is a looming risk for children brought up in an untested environment (long-day care),” she said.
“They are a social experiment now. We will see how much alternative care they than cope with without compromising development.”
Dr Packer was a contributor to pamphlets on display at Nambour General Hospital last week titled Alternatives to Smacking Children.
While Dr Packer does not support smacking a child, even a controlled smack, she said what was more damaging was the lack of attention children got.
“More than anything that is changing in Australia is the connected time parents spend with their children,” she said. “It is plummeting.
“Which is more damaging, the occasional smack or level of attention? I would say the level of attention.”
Dr Packer questioned why parents were having children when they did not want them and enjoy them.
Her sharpest criticism was levelled at parents who put their children in long-day care when they were less than a year old.
“Babies in care from six weeks of age we are learning – and there is amazing research – how this affects the development of the right side of the brain,” she said.
Dr Packer referred to the work of Professor Allan Shore, a leading neuroscientist at the University of California, who has done research into how parent-child interaction plays a key role in shaping the right side of infants’ brains.
Dr Packer said a lack of parent-child interaction was more harmful than the occasional slap on the wrist with a hand.
Childcare worker admits ‘daycare can be abuse’
Sunshine Coast Daily 17 September 2014
A CHILD care industry insider says she supports the notion that long day care can be a form of child abuse.
And the Sunshine Coast worker, who asked to remain anonymous, believed many others in the industry, who witnessed the trauma some children go through when left for long days, felt the same.
“Some kids are dropped off at 6.30am and don’t get picked up until after 5pm,” she said.
“You see these kids and you go ‘you poor little things’, particularly when all the other parents are picking their kids up.
“They are always at the door waiting, looking. It is really sad.