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No day care will take our boy [CA-ON]

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Letters, The Ottawa Citizen
Author: 
Cooke, Brian and King, Leigh-Anne King
Publication Date: 
12 Jul 2008
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As our son approaches his first birthday in late September, my wife and I have been fretting about finding a day-care provider in our neighbourhood. Living on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River has its challenges.

Aylmer, with its proximity to Ottawa, has seen its population explode with young families looking for affordable first homes, creating a shortage of daycare spaces. This alone should come as no surprise to any parent, whether they dwell in Ottawa or Gatineau.

There is just not enough capacity for children under the age of two, an age which many day-care providers consider too time- and energy-consuming.

But over the last few weeks I have become exposed to a new factor which I was not expecting and which has limited our hopes of placing our son. No, he has no special needs, health concerns or rap sheet. It is just that he is a boy.

In the last month, we have been rejected by every day-care provider we've contacted once they discovered that we were parents of a boy. They made this decision without meeting us or meeting him. Either by phone or e-mail, each provider welcomed us to an available spot, only to change their mind once we filled them in on his sex.

When I discuss this with other parents and co-workers, they tell us that they have experienced the same prejudice. I call it prejudice because that is what it must be called.

What is going on? Is this generation of boys so unruly? Are we letting boys be boys, and as a result letting them run wild instead of raising them to be upstanding members of society? Is this a generation of wild beasts?

As a father, I look at my son and see not only a little boy. I see him in the future, all grown up. I see him as a member of the human race, not a crazed animal with bad attitude. I will teach him compassion, (a trait that he is already demonstrating) and respect for others, especially those who cannot help themselves. This is the role of a parent.

If our boys are really this bad -- so bad that no professional will get within a barge poll of them -- then we all need to take a look at our sons, and ourselves.

- reprinted from The Ottawa Citizen

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Entered Date: 
18 Jul 2008
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