The value of child care

Regarding the column "Showing More Care for the Care Givers," April 13: In her concern about the present low pay for child-care workers, the author suggests that "attitudes left over from paying teenage babysitters on Saturday night perpetuate expectations that child care should be inexpensive."

As the mother of a young child and the teacher of teenage women, I've thought a good bit about paying babysitters low fees. What "perpetuate[s] expectations that child care should be inexpensive" is that mothers themselves - even those of us who consider ourselves somewhat enlightened - undervalue the nurturing of children. We prove this when we pay low wages to the next generation of mothers - teenage babysitters. From these low wages, what do these teens in our capitalist society learn? They learn that

nurturing children is not valuable work.

The fees paid child-care workers will never rise as they should until all women value the nurturing of their own children - whether that nurturing is done by themselves or by others. Barbara Mooney, Los Angeles

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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