Connor Russo thinks children should go to daycare: The educator explains why this is (not) a good idea | family

“Every child is obligated to go to childcare. And that’s for half a year.” This striking suggestion comes from the mouth of Connor Russo, president of Forot Corporation (29). He said it would be beneficial to their development. He’s gotten quite a bit of support on social media, but he’s gotten a lot of criticism. Educators also question this.

“Totally absurd.” “That won’t solve anything, Conner.” And: “Why does every child go to childcare? Is there suddenly a huge amount of money for nurseries and additional qualified staff?” Comments on social media are not kind to Conner Russo. The reason: The president of Vooruit gave an interview at Humo this week, talking about childcare in our country.

“Nursery can be a driver of equal opportunity and inclusion: I think every child should go to nursery school. And that’s half a year ago.” He says childcare should be seen as preparation for education. Perhaps he found inspiration for this statement in Denmark, where parents from some disadvantaged regions have to send their children from age 1 to nursery school to learn the language.

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The first thousand days is a changing life

In short, the obligatory reception has supporters, and above all a lot of opponents. So what about now? We asked Lynn Geerinck, she’s a teacher, mother of three and childcare director at i-mens. She has also written Goed Omringd’s book on the Young Families Support Network. “Some studies show that childcare is a good place for children from the most vulnerable families: it improves their development prospects,” she says. Then they gain structure in their lives, but also healthy snacks, and a hot meal. There is time to connect games, sing, dance, experience nature, … their imagination and language are certainly stimulated.”

Connor Russo uses the argument that the first thousand days of a person’s life are incredibly crucial for the rest of their life. “That’s right,” Jerink nodded. “During this period, the building blocks are laid for your social and moral skills, for the person you will later become. If something goes wrong, it is difficult to correct it afterwards.”


There are very few people willing to do this. On top of that, there’s a massive influx of employees saying, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Educator Lynn Jerink

Geerinck immediately makes an important nuance. “During this stage, children cannot verbally express how they feel or what they need. The most important thing is that the environment can meet their basic needs, and this only works in a safe context where children receive a lot of love and attention.” This is exactly where the problem arises, because childcare is currently unable to provide what they need for infants and young children.

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Lynn Jerink.
Lynn Jerink. © rv

“I don’t want to offend the childcare workers: they are doing their best,” Geerinck confirms. But the truth is, childcare is in crisis. There are a lot of children, but few people want to do it. Further, due to the workload, there is a massive influx of employees who say, “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do my job well this way.”

“The result,” says Jerink, “is that childcare is currently very motivating for the very young. If we make commitment, nurseries and babysitters will be overburdened. It will make it worse, and the children will be the losers.”

Childcare crisis

First of all, the situation must therefore be corrected. Jerink: “Now the childcare provider has to take care of nine children on his own. It has to be different. We should aim for a ratio of one to five or even one to four, as is the case in many neighboring countries.” This week there will be a hearing in the Flemish Parliament, where several experts will discuss the conditions for providing children in the quality Flemish childcare they deserve.

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The image is for illustration purposes.
The image is for illustration purposes. © Pexels

Jerink: “The job has to be more attractive – wages should be raised, among other things, training can be improved – so we can attract more qualified and strong childcare workers, there is more and better care. Then we can also adjust the long registration procedures for parents This is the ideal world, but we are not there yet.”

Sociologist Wim van Lanker (KU Leuven) has just calculated that Flanders is investing much less money per child and per hour in childcare, that is 2.2 euros. According to De Standard newspaper, the amount in the Netherlands is 6.2 euros, and in Sweden it is 8.8 euros. This must be corrected. “So foster care can be a high-quality addition to the family, and we can encourage parents to send their offspring to nursery. If they want it themselves, hey.”

The right to choose for yourself

Even if the situation in childcare is pico bello, there are still doubts about introducing a commitment. Geerinck: “It causes bad blood between parents who consciously choose not to send their children to nursery, but want to take care of them themselves. And rightly so: every parent has the right to choose that for himself. “

According to experts, child development is one of the most vulnerable environments that benefits from childcare. This positive effect is less certain for children from favorable backgrounds. Motivating parents are one-to-one with their child, and that’s certainly no worse. exactly the contrary.”

“It is sometimes said that children who do not go to a shelter grow up to be antisocial beings. This is not true. A mother who communicates with the child in a mode of complete dependency, who endures, stimulates and confronts skin hunger, educates and feeds the child, gives her child a solid foundation. The child will also be attached very later, which is very good. It would be a shame if these parents were forced to take their children to nursery school or the nanny.”

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Interview. Professor on the childcare crisis: “Double the budget. Or are our young children not worthy of it? ” †

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