Words Used


The words of a discussion matter. In science and logic, the first part of any research is to agree on the definition of terms.  Sadly in the care movement, not all terms are even agreed on- eg. the term ‘work’  It is necessary to agree on terms.

It is useful to also look at terms that are misleading, that may suggest a meaning that is deceptive, such as the use of ‘childcare’ which in some research means care of a child anywhere but in other research means only 3rd party care provided by government.

It is also important to look at terms that have over the years perpetuated stigma. In all other liberation movements, terms that were racist, insults to those with lower IQs, insults to those with certain sexual orientation, insults to those with physical handicaps were identified as so closely linked now  to bias that their use was discouraged and in official documents banned as insensitive.

The terms used in the care movement also bear scrutiny. erms that exclude the care role from social status or financial recognition must be addressed.  

The care sector  however faces a compounding of discriminations- often mixing the devaluing of women with other biases that have crept in.

The poverty of the role may also lead to a discrimination based on income. Since hired caregivers, butlers, maids, hired help, domestic workers have historically often been of a race different from those they served, the recognition of the care role also has implications to confront racism. Those who choose a care style with certain diet or ritual may encounter discrimination for that choice linked to discrimination based on religion.

Tax penalty for certain care styles may have links to discrimination based on marital status. The ones who receive care are often seen as less productive in the economy – the young, sick, handicapped, frail elderly and dying. Discrimination against them as lesser also may have led to devaluing also  those who provide their care.

In addressing all of these potential biases, it is helpful to survey the  language to see where it may subtly be compounding the problem. Some words used even by advocates for caregiving may be misunderstood by the public.


access – ability to approach, ease of using the service. Governments

            speak of access to a building for the disabled, and access to

            medical help, access to clean water, access to education. The

            term implies endorsement of a universally agreed on good

            thing. Governments do not speak of access to tobacco

            products, access to gambling or access to war or explosions.

            We may speak of ensuring access to fresh fruit and vegetables,

            as a category good for health but we do not speak of ensuring

            access to pizza. Pizza is only one type of food, and not

            a human right or specific need. However the term ‘access’ is often used by             childcare operators

            to subtly imply their operation is also a universal good

            in the same category as a right. This term usage is not

            consistent with equally valid other care styles and government

            more fairly could refer also to access to grandparent care,

            access to family based care or access to care of a senior

            in their own home, but does not. The tilt to only value

            paid roles, even for care of others, is an oddity of the

            GDP economy.


            When governments fund care of children they often

            want to see results for their expenditures, as they

            do for any other expenditure of a product purchased.

            However the term when applied to care of others

            is not as easily tallied for the benefits of good care

            of children may take years to show. The benefits

            of spending money for birth bonuses or child

            dependent deductions, family allowances,

            income splitting tax options and pensions for

            caregiving years at home, will have results that

            may be happy, well adjusted teens who stay in

            school and do not get involved in drugs or overuse

            of alcohol or tobacco, who have skills to be productive

            citizens and who are ethical and honest, contributing

            members of society as adults.  Asking for quick

            return on an investment for children is not logical


            When governments are confronted about why they

            fund 3rd party care of others but not family based care

            they often give the excuses that they are not able

            to investigate care in the home for fear of invasion’

            of privacy, so they are not able to set standards

            and ensure the wise use of money they invested there.

            This idea that parents are unable to show they are

            accountable and trustworthy is however misleading.

            It is not the same standard used when salaries are paid

            to workers who are just then trusted to spend the

            money wisely. It is also clear that parents are already

            under very stringent standards of accountability   

            in society and do not need additional monitoring

            of how they spend benefits for children. Parents

            already are under legal obligation to provide for

            their children and supervise them, ensuring their

            safety and health and  parents are liable not just

            to criminal charges for failure to do so, to charges

            of abuse and neglect, but also to the very real threat

            of losing custody to or even access to the child.

            They are already accountable and to deny them funding

            is not logical

adoption – permanent taking on of the legal responsibility to

            take care of a child.  The oddity of that is that in

            many countries taking care of the child of another

            person as a paid job, as a foster parent or

            paid caregiver is seen in the GDP economy as useful

            work, even vital work.  However once the child is

            formally adopted, care of that child is no longer seen

            as useful work and falls back into the situation of unpaid

            care not financially supported by the state.  In some countries

            where parents are in dire poverty they may give a child

            up for adoption solely to ensure that the child then

            is financially more secure. This decision to break

            a strong love and emotional bond just because of lack

            of money could be seen as sad and vital to address

            In the case of single mothers and unwed teen mothers

            the dire poverty often motivates girls who themselves

            are in financial distress to give up the baby for adoption

            solely because there is no financial option for them.

            One observer in Canada has suggested that one better

            solution may be for adoption of the mother and

            her baby together, so both could get financial

            support and still be able to be together. To date this

            option is not made available however.

aid – should mean help, in practical terms or in terms

            of money but in government economies foreign

            aid means money

affordable- within reasonable budget limits. However there are several budgets

            involved  in some situations. When government is asked to provide

            affordable 3rd party childcare, this keeps costs low to the family of

            that child. However it simultaneously requires government then to

            pay higher costs to subsidize the operation so is less affordable

            to government the more affordable it is to families. A government

            funded childcare system that offers low cost or no cost 3rd party

            care often requires all taxpayers to foot the bill, and requires

            tax increase for the general population so affordable 3rd party   

            care to the household may become prohibitively costly to

            the nation.

allowance -money given regularly. Parents give children an allowance

            of discretionary cash.  The term also means allowed limits such

            as travellers having permission to carry on board suitcases of

            a certain weight allowance.  The term in the GDP economy however

            is used for cash to offset necessary expenditures, such as a travel

            allowance, a health spending allowance.  In many countries funding

            to parents called a ‘family allowance’ interestingly is cash per child

            to help offset some costs of childrearing but also is administered with

            some conditions also of what is ‘allowed’ or permitted. Governments often                 adjust the money allotted to age of child or number of children in the

            household but only to a certain family size, with the connotation not only

            that the state supports in a small way the outlay of costs, but also that

            it is generous to do so and sets boundaries on ideal family size. Such

            conditions often work in the reverse of logic so that family allowance

            is reduced not increased as a child ages, even though costs of an older

            child go up not down and not recognizing additional practical costs

            of a large family even though housing costs and number of bedrooms

            needed increase significantly with family size.

apprentice – the beginner at developing a skill. In the trades

            this designation simply means a learner

            not yet a master at the craft.  In economics paid

            laborers are not only allowed to but encouraged

            and often required to go through these stages of

            skill development realizing that experience

            along with guidance and mentorship is the way

            that competence is developed. In the unpaid

            care sector however, first time parents are often

            considered incompetent admittedly but also

            not nurtured. It is common for commercial

            operations to offer to take over parenting from

            these parents for a price and some parents feeling

            insecure may also not be sure they could

            become competent so they need these substitutes

            The problem is that in any other role, we would

            as a society help these parents be good at the role

            with mentorship and time and funding to gain the

            experience and to bond with their young for

            the wellbeing of both parties.  Only in the unpaid

            care sector does economics consider that novices

            and those with years of experience are all equally

            incompetent, for only a paid worker has competence.

asset – is an object or piece of equipment considered of value.

            A person can also be considered an asset to a business

            or a political movement for the wisdom and skills they

            contribute. In GDP economies however an asset is

            only seen through the financial lens, and includes

            money, savings, investments, property and other items

            that could be converted to cash.  This restricted definition

            of asset however ignores the nonmonetary and less visible

            contributions to society of wisdom to guide a project,

            energy to help others, skills to solve problems and

            time to devote to service.  Unpaid caregivers are not

            officially seen as assets to an economy even though                 

            they anchor it. Oddly the fact they are not paid precludes

            noticing their contribution and the contribution is not

            therefore valued, because it is not paid.  The vicious circle

            of devaluing in perpetuated.  When politicians speak of

            assets of a nation they often cite natural beauty,

            clean air, clean water, and sometimes children as

            the greatest assets. However in economic jargon there

            is no recognition of what that may mean and as a result

            no funding to direct to preserving or nurturing these


assistance- should mean help of any kind. However in

            economies it usually means only financial assistance

attachment to the paid labor force

            A focus in economics to grant caregivers time

            away from the paid job but only if they soon return to

            it, is common.  This desire for women in particuar

            to stay attached to the paid labor force implies that

            only in that way do they still have value in the economy.

            Making benefits for pregnancy, maternity, time spent

            with a newborn all conditional on having had paid work

            recently and committing to returning to it soon, also

            devalues the care role for itself.  The rationale often

            given that the employer has to keep the job open for

            the woman and that this ensures she is not left unemployed

            for her time with the baby, may help the family budget

            but also does hobble employers who have to hire a temporary

            replacement worker and train that person and then let that

            person go.  The obligation of an employer to have to keep on

            staff a person because of pregnancy and not based on their

            competence may also not fully empower women to be valued

            for their competence alone.

babysitter – the one who tends the child occasionally .

            The term is used commonly just to designate

            the role ‘I’m going to babysit tonight” but in GDP

            economics the term is restricted to paid care.

            One might notice the lethargy of the term

            ‘sitter’ as if the role has no physical demands.

benefits – the term means advantages, merits, pluses

            of an activity.  The action leads to the effect.

            so the benefit of exercise is for instance better

            physical health In GDP economics however the

            term benefits  is restricted to monetary add-ons to the salary, such as money 

            to pay for dental care, pay while sick, pay while on vacation, pension.  Benefits             have a function of accommodation or forgiveness for time             not at the paid job due       to human frailty. Recognizing maternity through this category could view             pregnancy and giving birth as forgiveness not value of the             role. Tying the benefit to paid work, with contributions from government ,             employer or employee             excludes all those  pregnant or giving birth without such recent paid work history

            so is not itself recognition of maternity but of paid work.

            Tying the benefit to commitment to return to paid work increases the

            perception that pregnancy and giving birth are brief detours away

            from useful roles, only valued if they are brief

            The unpaid caregiver lacking salary also is unable to access such benefits,

            so has no entitlement to funding when ill, or to dental care

            or vacations. In a household with two

            dental benefit policies, one for each earning

            parent, the family can much more easily afford

            to pay for dental braces for the child than can

            a household with only one earner and one

            dental benefit policy.

breast feeding – the benefits of the feeding of newborns

            by breast milk rather than formula have been

            researched extensively by pediatricians and

            many pediatric societies now recommend breast

            feeding for the first one or two years or more

            of the life of the child. However because the

            GDP economy does not consider time spent

            taking care of a baby useful work, labor and tax

            law usually pressures new mothers to return to ‘

            paid work much sooner than that 1-2 year interval.

            This anomaly creates a dilemma for parents who are

            both told to and not to spend time with the baby.

            It sets up parents for impossible expectations

            from very early- to earn and to breast feed

            in ways that may often be mutually exclusive.

            This dilemma also sets women up for emotional   

            upheaval at any decision they make -guilt to

            not breast feed or guilt to not be earning. Such

            dilemmas are part of the problem of not valuing

            the care role officially and in tax law.

burden – onerous task,  unpleasant obligation..  The

            care role in recent decades has been described

            as if a heavy weight on the shoulders that must

            be lifted. Paid care providers often make their case

            offering to for pay, ease that burden.  Governments

            urging women out of the home to do paid work often

            describe the care role at home as unpleasant in order

            to nudge women to paid roles away from family.

            This negative stereotyping of the care role continues

            when activism for gender equality focuses on men

            sharing the ‘burden’, doing their half of the onerous

            roles. Such focus on the burden and not the value

            of the role further stigmatizes it. A fairer answer would

            be to value the role whoever does it, and to let families

            chose who does it, but with respect for the role and

            with government acknowledgment that it is not

            akin to taking our trash to raise a child.

business -logically this term simply means the activity at which

            one is busy, what takes up their time and effort. It can

            mean the legitimate area of concern so that something

            is ‘none of your business’ or ‘your business’ to know.

            In economics however the term is also restricted to

            the provision of goods or services for money.  A person

            is ‘in business’ and ‘in the business of’ meaning that

            is how they earn money.  The caregiver is ignored

            in what activities they do that keep them busy even

            if these are vital activities.

business attire/ clothes for work – this is clothing worn

            for nonleisure activities. It is not formal wear

            for parties or semi-formal wear for entertainment

            but it is also not casual relaxed wear for leisure.

            The designation of business attire reflects certaiu

            standards of seriousness, cleanliness, respect for

            the position held.  Interestingly, the cost of such

            clothing is usually mid range, but a definite cost

            higher than for clothing worn around the house.

            The assumption however that the unpaid caregiver

            does not need ‘work clothes’ also ignores the

            fact that the work is also demanding and may require

            mopping floors, climbing ladders, hoisting small

            children or feeding those who are messy. 

care – can mean emotional involvement so that

            if a person cares about what happens, they are

            interested, concerned and kindly disposed to a good

            outcome. If you care for someone it means you like

            them. If  you take care of someone it means you

            help provide them with some necessities.

            A caretaker is a term for someone who tends a building

            and takes care of the mechanical aspects of it and its


            A caregiver is a term for someone who provides

            for the needs usually of another person. However

            the word’ giver’ implies also a gift of care, and

            lack of remuneration.   The term itself historically

            has come to be so closely associated with lack of

            remuneration as to be a definition of good care- that

            it is less noble even if paid, and more admirable if

            done from the heart, at personal expense and without pay.

            Such implications keep pay rates low for paid careproviders

            and hamper any efforts to get care roles by family

            members valued as worth money.

care of the handicapped types -putting the handicapped

            into institutional settings was the strategy of years

            ago to improve on just neglect or abuse of them.

            However recent decades have emphasized the

            dignity of the handicapped, their rights and the

            contributions they still can make to society.

            The care locations have also expanded so that

            care within the home is sometimes a preference,

            care by a family member is sometimes a preference,

            and integration into the schools and offices

            is also more enabled, as is assisted living .  

            However in the GDP economy it is much

            more common to identify costs of care

            of the handicapped still, only if they are

            receipted costs paid to third parties. This bias

            hampers cecisions for care

care seller – this is a pejorative representation of those

            who provide paid care. The more polite way

            to designate such care is as providing care, as care

            providers, as part of the business of childcare or

            seniors care. The association of money with care ‘giving’

            has been criticized by some as inconsistent with care

            provided for free, out of love. Associating money with

            it may seem crass, which is why parents who want funding

            for care they provide of their children are criticized as

            materialistic. However when governments subsidize

            costs of care in every other location than the home, this

            inconsistency has been questionned as a bias against

            family based care.   When a 3rd party paid care setting

            has a set rate and then if the parents are late to pick up        

            the child charges a perminute penalty rate, this extra bill

            for care’giving’ does highlight the monetary nature

            of the care relationship there also.  The idea that money cannot

            be a factor when care is given out of love is a sentimental ideal

            but may not be consistent with realities of cost of having a

            loving adult available to provide care. Many who charge for

            care do claim they offer loving care also, and also charge

            money. A consistent government policy would not preclude

            families and those who love the care receiver from inclusion

            into the funding formula that values care itself.

carer – is a term in the UK for someone who provides

            care of another person. The term however may

            imply that to take care of someone and to care

            about how they are the same thing and they

            are not.

casual worker – the term casual implies leisurely, not rushed,

            and not very intensely committed to an activity.

            In economics a casual worker is a worker who

            does not put in full time hours only part time or

            on call or occasional. This term use however also   

            suggests lack of need of the income and lack of

            dedication to the role.  Since many unpaid caregivers

            subsidize their lack of money with some paid work

            but not full time, for them to be labelled as casual

            even the paid job, may be a reason such paid

            workers are often paid lower salary and no benefits,

            even though logically they could be argued to deserve


child -dependant minor. The definition of when childhood ends

            varies not only between countries but within them for various

            rights and responsibilities. The grey area of when childhood ends

            and when adult responsibilities are imposed has huge importance            ‘

            to the safety, medical care, education and criminal record and to

            parental and caregiver obligations to supervise or protect. In a given

            country the age ranges may be for instance- age to pay adult fare

            on airplane (2), in restaurants (12), on buses (12), age to join a

            ‘political party (14), to be prescribed birth control or have an abortion

            without parental consent( can be 14 or at discretion of doctor)

             to be obliged to attend school (16), to drive a car (18) to join the military (17), to             be charged with a criminal offense as an adult (18), to enter into a legal contract             (18), to marry without parental permission (18 )to vote (18), to purchase alcohol             or tobacco products (18)  to purchase vaping products, e-cigarettes or legal

            cannabis (18), to do online gambling (18)to view an adult-rated movie in a theatre or X rated video games(18), to run for political office (21)

            In some countries historically gender of the child also affected the rate where

            for instance boys were not charged as criminal offenders till they were 18,but

            girls were charged from age 16. One might notice that some rights that affect

            the safety and lives of others, such as driving a car or having an abortion are given   

            sooner than some rights that have much lower safety risk such as voting.

            When a child is ‘grown up’ and able to make their own decisions is affected           

            by the GDP economy paradigm also because earning of money is considered

            both a right, and also an area from which a child should be protected, to

            ensure children are not used as cheap labor or deprived of an education, both

            of which happened historically and do still happen in some countries. Some

            nations also do not define age cut -offs for some rights.  A child can be left

            unsupervised in the home from age 12 in some areas but the age is not defined

            in others.  The age at which children can travel alone though near others on

            buses, or airplanes has also been interpreted individually for circumstance . The

            age at which a  minor can be prescribed birth control or have an abortion may     

            be left to the discretion of the medical doctor consulted, without consulting

            parents,  in areas where if a child had a traumatic injury there is legal obligation to             contact the family.  In the GDP economy the child though protected is also

            viewed as a huge potential boon to business as purchaser, leading some nations

            to establish limits of advertising to the young to protect their vulnerability

            but also grey areas of enforcement where with online product purchase

            a child  need only claim to be an adult to be allowed to make the purchase.

            The protection of children  logically may suggest need for supervision of         them             even as teens, though the law does not require such supervision. GDP

            economics prioritizes parents having paid work over providing supervision

            of their teenage offspring.

childcare – the use of the term by 3rd party caregivers

            as if they uniquely provided childcare has led even to

            observations such as that a parent ‘has no

            childcare’ and ‘needs childcare’ in order to           

            ‘work.  This oddity of expression is applied

            even if the parent already not only provides

            childcare themselves but is in effect the

            childcare service.

childcare – should mean care of the child. It should mean

            care of the child regardless of who is giving the care,

            the location of care, the blood relationship of the

            caregiver to the child or any other considerations

            about income or gender of the child or the adult.

            However in GDP economics this term is restricted

            to only noticing paid care, and since pay is not permitted

            for related family members it only notices and counts

            as childcare, care that is paid for a 3rd party. It excludes

            care by father, mother, grandparent, aunt or older sibling

            and creates by this exclusion the oddity that those care styles

            excluded are deemed not providing childcare at all. So tallies

            of childcare may even represent those family based

            arrangements as potential users of 3rd party care who

            are not using it, and therefore as ‘lacking’ childcare.

            The term ‘childcare’ has come to be even more limited

            in recent decades when the daycare industry took over

            the term as its exclusive property and argues to government

            that only 3rd party daycare is childcare, and that governments

            to fund care of children should directly and preferentially

            fund only 3rd party care by strangers non relative to the             child.

childcare types – there are over a dozen ways to provide

            legal and good care of a child. They include

            care by a father, mother, grandparent, older

            sibling or a hired third party. The care can

            be provided in the home of the child or

            at the home of another person or at a community       

            center or even large daycare building.  It can

            be provided by parents taking turns, by one

            parent home with the child while the other is

            at paid work, or by a parent simultaneously

            while earning from home or telecommuniting.

            It can be provided by a parent who takes the

            child to the paid work venue at a corner store

            or office or driving a school bus.  It can be provided

            by a live in or live out nanny, au pair or child

            tutor, childminder, wet nurse. Most children

            experience a range of such care over the

            course of a week, and for sure over the course of

            several years as situations change due to illness,

            job relocation, travel, family crisis, travel.  However

            despite this wide range of types and styles of childcare

            the 3rd party sector that offers large group care

            has attempted to lobby government as if it is

            the only type of childcare, to be the only grou

            consulted for legislation, and to be the only

            funded style of care.

choice – means options.  Free choice implies equally weighted options

            without pressure or bias to favor one option over others. If governments

            claim to value choice for women- for marriage or not, having

            children or not, abortion or not, choice of education and career

            those choice goals have been part of the women’s liberation movement.

            However if choice of use of 3rd party daycare is preferentially

            funded by government, then it is not free choice. Unless other

            care options are equally funded, it is Hobson’s choice, or the

            choice of Model T purchasers that you could have the Model T

            in any color so long as it was black.

            Setting up a childcare space or each child ‘just in case’ they

            want it, to give them that ‘choice’ funds an empty space and

            is inefficient funding. Efficient funding would go to wherever

            the child was, enabling parents actual free choice.

            Free choice in care of children is only provided when government

            funds all care styles equally, and works as hard to give mothers

            the option to be at home or to use sitter, nanny, grandma care

            as it does to give them the option of 3rd party childcare.

            When taxpayers are forced to fund 3rd party childcare preferentially

            through government programs and tax policy, taxpayers are also

            denied choice and are forced to support a biased system.

chores, burden

            The term ‘chore’ implies an onerous unpleasant task not

            a vital and valued one.  Arguments that ask for government to

            value the care role as a burden may not accomplish 

            the goal of dignity and respect. Terms that refer to a woman ‘stuck ‘at home, or             with a goal of sharing the ‘burden’ of care responsibilities have a tone

            that does not value the role itself.

contribution- should mean effort or input into a larger project.

            In economics however it is restricted only to paid input

            so a parent’s contribution to the wellbeing of a child on

            divorce is only counted if it is money, not time.

cost of childcare

            should mean both the emotional and practical

            expenditure of time  and money required to take

            care of a child.  However in economics the

            only cost noticed is financial.  In addition

            the only cost that is noticed is not the loss

            of money or income sacrifice, though this

            is a huge blow to a household budget, but

            is only the outlay of money, how much is

            paid to someone else.  This means that in

            a household the loss of a salary so a parent

            can be home with a baby is not seen as a cost

            but paying for a nanny or daycare is.  When

            government that sympathizes with the cost

            of childcare, and subsidizes it, it tends to

            fund the daycare itself directly and to give

            the parents a deduction for the money they

            paid to the daycare in addition. It ignores

            the costs of care in the home, both outlay

            costs for food, clothing, toys, shelter

            and the cost of income loss.

custodian – the person who has the responsibility and is

            overseeing a property such as an apartment building.

            However the term is also used for those who have legal

            responsibility to provide care of a child or handicapped

            adult. The oddity is that this term implies legal obligation

            and rights but no emotional attachment and is rarely used

            to describe the family caregiver. The person who has ‘custody

            of a child is the one legally responsible for them and required to

            be in their presence of to determine their wellbeing. During divorce

            proceedings discussion are held about which parent has

            this legal right. The financial obligation to fund costs

            of care is often directly and inversely related to the determination

            of who has custody of the child. Each parent is deemed by the

            courts in most countries to have to provide financial support of

            the child even if absent from the child so that when the parent does ‘

            not have custody of the child, that parent must provide money to the

            one who does.  Many parents recently decide on shared custody

            where costs to the noncustodial parent per month are therefore lower

            than if the parent never had custody.  The terms used do tend to refer     

            to children however as objects and the terminology is the same as used

            oddly, for prison inmates. A person is taken into custody of the  police

            when arrested, is held in custody.  What may be missing from the discussion  

            by use of such terms if valuing the relationship of the caregiver to the

            child, and valuing the time spent together not as a restricted time with     

            boundaries but as a precious time with value. The GDP economy tends

            to ignore relationships and only focus on exchange of money.


            should mean care of someone during

            the day, regardless of location or identity

            of the care receiver or caregiver. However

            in the 1970s it was used exclusively to apply           

            to paid care of children at an institutional

            setting and provided by nonfamily members.

            When some businesses required parents

            to do paid work weekends or shifts or evenings

            some daycares started operating evenings

            or weekends and some nations even set up

            24 hour and several days in a row ‘long

            daycares’ so that term became less logical.

            In addition hospitals were often labelling

            outpatients in for brief treatment, not

            overnight stays as ‘day patients ‘ and sometimes

            as getting ‘day care’ so the expression daycare

            became less used for care of children. Those who

            operate third party care facilities also moved to

            the expression’ childcare’ partly because it did not

            point out as clearly that it referred only to

            one style of care.\

depending on someone – means relying on them, being able to trust

            their honesty, presence, values, skills.  In economics terms

            however it is restricted in meaning to money and needing

            another person to provide funds. This bias in meaning

            ignores that fact that the unpaid caregiver is the one who

            the care receiver depends on for care and that that care          

            often is vital to survival .  To treat the caregiver

            as the one who is dependent ignores the direction

            of the role.  The earner who goes off to the paid job

            secure in the knowledge that the children will be fine,

            their safety and nutrition and education and health

            will be taken care of, their values taught well in

            the absence of that earner, does depend on the caregiver.

            The idea that the caregiver is the only one who depends

            on the other is not accurate. A more logical concept

            in a household is interdependency.

development – is progression or growth along a path.  It is a process not

            a one time event.  In traditional economics working with mechanical

            items, product development is entirely due to human intervention.

            However working with people, there is also natural development as

            babies grow and children mature so the role of intervention is important

            but not the only factor. The development of a child into an adult is not the

            sole territory of any one location or the monopoly of any care style for

            children will develop anyway, they learn wherever they are and they grow

            physically taller, naturally. Some childcare centres label themselves centres

            of early childhood development. They are not the sole locations for good

            development however and do not own the territory.

domestic- within the nation and not foreign. The term also refers to

            activity done within the home. A person called a domestic

            is one hired to do menial tasks around the home .In the GDP   

            economy domestic labor, done in the home, is not viewed as

            useful work unless a third party is paid to do it, at which  

            point it is seen as work and of economic value This disconnect

            values and pays for work based not on task description as is

            true for any other work, but on identity of the worker.

early education, early learning

            should mean the learning and training of

            young children, wherever it happens. However

            in GDP economics which only counts paid

            roles, the expressions were used only to

            apply to paid care situations particularly

            in daycare settings.   The fact that children

            are born’ ready to learn’ was ignored as daycares

            advertised that they helped children get ready for school

            and ready to learn. The fact that children learn

            wherever they are, at the knee of the grandparent

            or at the playground or library was glossed over

            by those who claimed that only at a 3rd party

            daycare facility did children get any education

            or learning opportunity.  The daycare lobby often

            rebranded itself in the 1990s as EE specialists

            for early education.  Some even designated

            their staff as ‘teachers’ even though they did not

             have qualifications for school teaching that

            are required by departments of education and

            for certification of teachers in the school system.

            This use of the emotionally laden positive terms

            of learning and teachers and education was co opted

            by the daycare lobby as if it solely owned

            that territory.

eldercare – logically the care of the elderly encompasses many styles from

            occasional drop in help with groceries, running errands,

            driving to appointments, to more intense help with doing

            taxes, helping manage banking. It can involve personal

            care, helping arrange medical purchases or services,

            medical appointments or even the administering of medicine

            or monitoring of health. It may involve simply companionship.

            personal shopping, phone calls and online check ins and shared

            hobbies with others. The one providing this care may be

            the spouse, sibling, friend or adult offspring or the senior

            or a third party paid to help out. It may be paid or unpaid but

            the bulk of care in any country is unpaid and offered by family

            memberse. The care location can be

            the home of the senior or a community setting, assisted living

            complex or nursing home or auxiliary hospital. The paid caregiver

            may be visit the senior or may be a live in in the same residence.        

            This breadth of options is however not noted by the GDP

            economy which ignores any care unless it is paid thereby

            ignoring the bulk of senior care in any country. What is often

            also not recognized is that most senior care is provided

            by other seniors, where spouses allow for and adapt to

            each other’s changing needs as they age, and become critical

            supports for each other’s physical and emotional wellbeing

            All such family -based care is not counted as eldercare in the

            GDP economy. The result is that when not counted it is also

            not considered when policies are created and when funding

            is every allocated by government to assist with costs of

            care of seniors, the salary loss of family caregivers, the out

            of pocket costs and the value of their time providing care

            are also ignored, and even discouraged. What the state tallies

            it sees and what it sees is the only thing it funds.

employed/ unemployed   – how you spend your time is how you employ

            it. What you are employed at doing is however in economics

            also restricted to what you do for pay.  The expression

            unemployed technically means you are unpaid, not receiving

            pay but it also strongly suggests you also are not using

            your time in any worthwhile way. The unpaid caregiver

            then, seen as unemployed, or more politely ‘not attached

            to the paid labor force’ is still seen then as not busy at



            The daycare advocacy argument often is that women can

            only attain equality with men if they have equal pay with men

            and a level playing field that does not count child raising

            obligations against women.

            This argument has led to a push for free daycare even

            or for men to do their half of childrearing, so that both

            genders experience the same hurdles.  The problem is

            that this argument makes men the focus for women’s

            equality. It sets as the bar of what women need, what men

            already get. 

            In that way it actually perpetuates the idea that only roles men

            had have value. It perpetuates the idea that women’s highest

            aim is to be like men  And in the women’s movement for dignity

            it actually is not consistent. To be fully consistent it would say

            that women are as good as men, wherever they are, that yes they

            deserve equal pay at the paid job, compared to men, but they

            also deserve financial recognition and dignity at the care role

             at home.

            To notice the value of the care role financially has taken years.

            Some studies look at it as just a household benefit, that the

            mom at home saves the family from having to pay out of pocket

            for daycare. However it has been noticed that the income sacrifice

            of the parent at home is often triple what daycare costs so the

            highest’ cost’ of childcare is actually incurred if you don’t’ use


            When governments assist ‘working parents’ though and those who

            use daycare, then tend to ignore the poverty of the parent at home.

            The tax system that ties benefits to paid income also prejudices

            even who gets maternity benefits and deductions for school

            lunch programs or summer camp. The lack of a household based

            tax prejudices the options for parents about if one can afford to

            be home with the child at all. So the tax department has taken

            huge steps to define’ equality’ only in terms of nudging women out

            of the home.

            It could be argued that the goal of equality with men is not attained

            just by pay equity . It could be argued that we need equality between

            paid and traditionally unpaid roles for real equality to happen.

            And it could be noticed that when we aim at equality, creating two

            tiers among women also does not provide equality .  If we

            have mothers who earn and mothers who are unpaid, mothers

            who get paid while on maternity and others who do not,     

            we have created a split within women’s groups themselves.

            And a society that aims at equality would also not play favorites

            between women.

expenses -are costs incurred.  Many nations permit individuals and businesses

            to pay less tax on what they earned, because some of what they earned

            had to be spent just to operate the business. These ‘business expenses’

            for a desk, rent, office supplies, utilities and even travel and sometimes

            entertainment are deemed money spent in order to make money.

            However none of them is allowed as a deduction for unpaid caregivers

            even though to provide care of someone else can require costs in

            all of those areas.

expert – should mean very competent at the task

            However in economics the designation is reserved

            for those who are paid in the role, to the extent even

            that pay is seen as proof of expertise. A person who

            sells books or gives speeches that people pay for

            may designate themselves an expert on any topic

            even a life coach or guru. The business world that

            defines expertise in terms of formal training,

            degrees and certificates has traditionally also

            valued experience, on the job training and

            apprenticeship. Many professions like law

            and medicine, education and accounting, air

            plane flying and many of the trades in fact require both

            education and experience before full attainment

            of credentials. However experience alone is

            not valued much in formal economics. Even

            though experience not formal education is the

            key element of competence for mountain

            climbers it is not counted much in formal

            economics and for caregivers, the experience

            of a grandmother who has raised several

            children through all their stages of childhood

            is deemed as not expert at all about children

            while an 18 year old single girl who got a certificate

            for early childhood training is viewed as an expert.

family – people who are related through blood or marriage. The

            last few decades have seen a shift in this definition to

            include in some countries those who are not formally

            married but living together common law, those who

            are same sex in married or not formally married relationship

            In practical terms households often are composed of

            two siblings or two or three generations of relatives, even of

            skip-generation with grandparent and grandchild but parents

            not there.  “Family’ can mean extended family with aunts

            and cousins and the family has traditionally not only be

            the first responder and key support for each others’ illness,

            bereavement, emotional or financial crisis but also for

            each other’s practical needs such as getting help getting a

            car unstuck in the snow or building a garage. The definition

            of family has become a legal point of contention that may mask                    

            the more vital aspect that it is the group of closely

            affiliated people who are each others’ support network.

            They may be close friends not related at all. They

            may be family through formal adoption or foster care

            arrangement or kin-care arrangement. What might be

            more useful than defining family would be to permit  

            family however defined to do its traditional unpaid

            caregiving role. To deny this role tax recognition

            is to discourage it. To have governments only subsidize

            nonfamily based care is its own race-based bias.
            Recent human rights legislation that forbids discrimination

            based on family status may finally permit the unpaid

            care sector to function, in its historical role of saving

            government money by not requiring the state to

            pay for some care roles.

for a living  – the question of what a person does for a living

            means what they do for income. However income does

            not itself guaranteed a healthy life or a happy life and

            what a person does for quality of life may be quite

            a different question that what they do for income.

            The career-family dilemma identified in the 1980s

            has been also labelled the work-life dilemma but

            it has also been noted that the distinctions are not

            that clear. Taking care of a baby is play but

            also work.  Sitting at a computer can be work

            or play or kind of both.  GDP only focuses

            on paid work and is being seen as missing some

            key elements of what matters also to people.

for profit and not for profit care – Daycare advocacy groups have tried to limit the             discussion of what is good care to a limited set of options which for daycare             lobbyists create a win-win. Either fund daycare a or daycare b. The problems not             admitted are several

foster care   – the care of the young who come from households

            where family based care was either not possible or not

            safe.  The state takes over care of the vulnerable child

            and suddenly this care role is funded, the care provider

            is deemed to be doing useful work.  The rates of ‘

            pay for foster caregivers mirror wages at other paid

            jobs, even though the job description for care is identical

            to the job description of the unpaid family caregiver.

            Parents historically foster the development of their

            young as a key descriptor of the parenting role.

            However in the GDP economy they are not deemed

            to offer fostering care and are not permitted funding

            for the role.

free time /leisure -i economics is unassigned time, time not at paid work

            This concept of freedom as outside the paid work world

            creates the corollary that if  person is not paid they have only

            free time.  The idea the unpaid caregiver can make decisions

            of time management- when to take the child to the park,

            when to do the laundry, does not however mean there is freedom

            to not do the laundry or feed the baby. To assume that the

            unpaid caregiver’s day is leisure ignores the fact that babies

            require feeding every few hours day and night and though

            there may be variation in the schedule as the baby grows,

            there is not a lot of freedom to decide whether or not

            to provide food. The stereotype then of the life of the

            unpaid caregiver as a life of leisure is mistaken.

GDP – Gross domestic product – is a means of tallying activity in the

            economy that only counts paid work and the flow of money.

            It ignores the one third of the economy that is unpaid work.

have it all – to be able to enjoy full freedom and benefits of life

            In the women’s movement the goal that women should

            not incur any losses because of gender, created the goal

            that they would be able to have career and family satisfaction,

            success at paid work and feeling of success at the noncareer

            parts of life also.  This goal that women and men could easily

            combine paid career and the home, seemed very possible when

            men or women were both single, without family obligations.

            However on marriage, the role of cooking, cleaning and doing

            laundry generally fell to women more than men and created

            a difference in time use and time availability for career or

            leisure. When the couple had children, time use surveys also

            have found a growing gender imbalance where pregnancy,.

            giving birth and nursing a baby did change the gender options.

            In most countries care of children has been a role for women

            more than for men and over time the care role has been viewed

            in some ways as the problem for equality rights. Some advocates

            have asked for men to do their share of the care role, to equalize

            the time use hurdles. Others have noted that having men do some

            of the care role has not changed the perception in economics

            that it is a lesser role, even an obstacle or burden to career.

            The challenge of women or men to ‘have it all’  has in some  circles

            been adjusted to a more fluid goal of having satisfaction with

            the career and life balance each actually wants and to the idea

            that  a person can’ have it all’ eventually, but not always all at once.

            If GDP economics recognized that at some stages of life the

            care demands are very high, the expectation of at all times

            having peak career time commitment would be adjusted.

help should mean assistance given emotionally

            or physically or financially. However in economics

            it is restricted to financial help.   A volunteer helper

            is not valued but a hired helper suddenly has value

            and is counted in the economy.

high quality care  -care that is optimal and meets needs and exceeds

            expectations.The expression ‘high quality care’ however can be

            nebulous since the criteria for quality are themselves vague. 

            A logical standard may be multifaceted (safety, freedom from germs, low  adult-   child ratios) with criteria easy to quantify and inspect and regulate. However

            important aspects of care such as attentiveness of the caregiver,

            patience, encouragement, taking time to listen, attention to

            individual interests are hard to quantify.Nurturing and loving are

            not aspects of the role that can be trained or faked or purchased.

            The results is that the expression ‘high quality’ are may meet

            standards of inspectable quantifiable elements like room size

            or adult-child ratios but may ignore other vital criteria.

holiday/ vacation- this is time where a person is not at work,

            not obliged to do tasks assigned by an employer.

            However in reality of course adults are never

            completely free of obligations and even on holiday

            have to obey traffic laws and travel restrictions.  The care

            sector quickly finds that there is no such thing as a complete

            holiday however since the obligations to provide for the

            child’s safety and necessities of life continue.  Unpaid

            caregivers face an irony that there not only is no break from

            the role, but they are legally obliged to do it and yet not compensated

            for it.  The fact that society depends on each generation renewing

            itself places a high practical value but low financial value on

            the birth and raising of children. The idea of a holiday

            is another oddity of traditional economics that is out of

            touch with unpaid care days.  Some jobs get pay and

            holiday pay. Unpaid caregivers get neither.

home- – living space, residence.  The term is easy enough

            to understand in common usage but in care discussions      

            it can be easily confused. Seniors who live in a ‘home’ 

            may be living in a seniors’ facility called a nursing

            home and residents of ‘the home’ may be an expression

            that ensures funding to the care facility, while funding

            is not given to seniors who are in their own homes

            of earlier years.

            Home care logically would mean care delivered in         

            the residence of the person needing it.  However

            in the GDP economy it is restricted in definition

            to paid care, and to such care also being provided

            by a nonfamily member.  This blindness to

            care provided in the home that is provided by     

            a spouse, parent, adult offspring or sibling ends

            up ignoring and therefore not funding the most

            common type of care in any nation.

            Home is the personal part of life as distinguished from the

            business, office, career part.  This distinction has

            created legal preception that the office was about

            money and the state had the right to make laws concerning

            it but that the home was personal, and private, without

            state right to monitor. However in GDP economics

            the idea that the home was not a location of economic

            activity , that did not count purchasers there as

            useful to the nation, or care roles there as useful

            contribution to societal wellbeing, linked legal  right

            to intervene, not necessarily logically with economic

            benefit. The idea that what was done in the home was

            not a type of revenue in kind for the state, was ignored.

home-based business  – in economics when a product or service is provided

            from an office or factory, the place of business is obvious.However

            in cottage industry times and on farms, the location of the business

            was often also the home.  With the Internet and online marketing

            it has become possible to have businesses much more easily operate

            from home. Many caregivers of young children or the handicapped

            or seniors strategize ways to have income while also being a caregiver

            and they may operate a day home tending other children, or have a craft

            production or tutor or provide an online counselling or Internet

            marketing skill, while also being a caregiver.  Usually however

            the care obligations take up time and income from such a

            home-based business is less than it would be without the care

            obligations also.  The fact that a person can earn from home

            however is changing the stereotype of home as separate

            from paid work.  So many parents have some small

            income  while at home that there is a designation now

            of work-at-home mother.  Such income is not income for

            caregiving however.  If the role of caregiving in the

            economy were noticed for the creation and nurturing

            of each new generation of citizens however, the role

            might be seen as the core home-based business on

            which the nation depends.

homemaker – was a 1950s term for the person in the home who

            took care of the family.  It has become a more derogatory

            term lately

household – is a grouping of individuals who share the same residence.

            In tax law it is not however a consistently treated concept.  Those

            who live in the same residence may share income and standard of

            living and may be an economic unit, in which case taxing them

            recognizing the income is shared may seem fair and some

            nations permit this tax paying style.  However some residents

            of the same residence are not sharing income, for instance

            if they are roommates only, or if they choose to not share

            income, in which case taxing them as individuals seems more

            logical. However many nations do not permit this flexiblity

            of tax choice. Some nations require taxation only as individuals,

            ignoring and therefore penalizing the sharing of income.

            This ends up penalizing households with an  unpaid caregiver

            where the earner is taxed as if the income is not shared when

            it is. In addition some nations are inconsistent in the tax policy,

            asking for money from the individual based on individual earnings

            (so asking for more money)  yet returning benefits such as tax

            rebates or childcare subsidies based on household income (so

            returning less money)  An ideal tax plan might be to permit

            choice of individual or household based tax, and then for government

            to also be consistent with that choice when it returns benefits.

housewife – was a 1950s term for the married woman

            in the home who did traditional roles there

            of cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping

            and tending the family. The term came under disrepute

            when it was mocked in the 1970s that the woman

            was married to the house.  The term got associated

            with many negative stereotypes of angry emotional

            women or with women with no social status – ‘just

            a housewife”

in care –  if a child is in the care of an adult, that logically

            means the child is being protected, nurtured,

            fed, kept well by that adult. However the GDP

            economy so narrowly defines care, to only recognize

            care if it is paid, that when a  child is enters ‘into care”

            that expression is assumed to only refer to a child

            taken from the parent and put in the care of the

            state.  The oddity of this limited definition is quite

            striking where care by the parent is not

            even called care but care by the state is.

incentive- something given as motivation or encouragement.

            In GDP economics the assumption seems to be that

            salary is not always enough to spur people to act

            and that additional enticement may be given, and this

            also is often money or privilege that has a value

            with some money value- such as extra holiday time

            or a job promotion.  In the care sector, the argument has

            sometimes been given that women in the home need

            incentives to do paid work outside the home, ostensibly        

            to be convinced to enjoy liberation from domestic roles.

            An incentive however also implies a preference by the

            employer, and if offered by government a preference

            for citizen behavior. When low cost of free third party

            childcare is given as an incentive for women to do paid work

            the implication is that care roles at home are lesser and government

            is showing a lifestyle favoritism, which itself may be a human

            rights violation when it favors separating families from keeping

            parent with child.  There are some who claim that women

            need work so the low cost childcare funded by government

            is assistance not incentive. However unless asssistance

            is also given to use other care styles including home-based

            care, an incentive for only one care style is still discriminatory.

in kind- sweat equity- payment that is not in cash but is in goods

            or services that have an equivalent monetary value to

            the debt owed.  This type of transaction is not recognized

            in the GDP economy though it is common in the informal

            economy.  The care role historically is entirely based

            on labor that is not paid.  Governments however refuse

            to see such care roles as service in kind, taxation

            in kind. or sweat equity contribution the economy and

            even consider such care roles as drains on the economy.

informal care – this expression is misleading because though it has a ring of flexibility             and casualness, some also assume it has a ring of makeshift unplanned care.  I             personally find it a useful expression since to me the opposite is formal rule-            directed care in an institutional setting such as a community centre, church.             However there are some who feel the term is being used against mothers at home             as if it means the care is substandard somehow.

institutionalized care – some daycare lobbyists are offended when daycare is referred to             as ‘institutional / institutionalized care. One person suggested it was not an             institution which they said conjured up Hitlerian marching images. The claim was             made that daycare was actually ‘community based’ at the YWCA and in             community centers and churches. However logically, those actually are             institutions.  I admit the problem with connotation but technically the distinction             is being made between home-based care and 3rd party care elsewhere and since     the 3rd party care elsewhere is usually denied funding by daycare lobbyists if it is             private homes, by nannies, or by dayhomes, then it has seemed useful to try to             categorize the type of care the daycare lobby is trying to favor – and that seems to             be care in larger ‘institutional’ settings.  If there is another word that is clearer it             could be considered but ‘community-based care’ would be misleading since that       logically would include babysitting, care by grandma, a friend or anyone else in             the community.

investment and return on investment  -in GDP economics people

            can buy shares in a company and get dividends based

            on its success. The idea of spending money for later hope

            of return on investment is key to the stock market and

            to many purchases where value is expected to increase.

            This whole concept however does not notice

            that children themselves are an investment society

            makes in its own sustainability. Money spent to ensure

            people can have children, can keep them healthy

            and educate them, to train them with values that are

            supportive of a healthy society is actually a vital part

            of any economy. The oddity is that in GDP economics

            those who have historically always made this investment

            by their own time investment, income loss or cash outlay

            have not been recognized for the value they produce

            to the economy.   Activists who argue for 3rd party childcare 

            to be preferentially funded often argue that this money spent

            by all taxpayers is an investment, that $2 spent now will pay

            off with $7 later in reduced costs of criminal justice

            or health care or unemployment if children are not raised well.

            Such arguments whether statistically accurate or not for that

            particular type of care, could be as logically made however for

            any good care of a child, and therefore are not logically

            made to support care only of one style.

job       -the term means an obligation or responsibility. It may

            be your job to take out the trash. However in economics

            terms it is only used for paid roles.   An unpaid caregiver

            even if the role demands 18 hour days to ensure the

            wellbeing and survival of another is officially said

            to not have a job.   In economics the unpaid caregiver

            is considered jobless or unemployed and is in the

            same category officially then of those available

            for paid work but just not doing paid work.  This

            misconception of availability for paid work can

            create serious bias against the unpaid caregiver

            who is officially deemed to have left work

            all the while still doing intense work, just


            In the GDP economy however only paid

            jobs are recognized with the implication that without pay any

            activity is not of use in the economy. This creates a particular oddity  

            regarding care roles. The task of tending a baby is seen as a useful

            job in society if done by a third party dacyare employee but not

            of use if done by a parent.  The argument then for government to

            fund 3rd party daycare centres to help with job creation is mostly then

            about creating jobs for daycare workers, with the added claim that

            this formula would also enable parents to go to paid jobs themselves.

            Both of these arguments are about GDP economics to get everyone

            into paid jobs – even caregivers, as long as they are not family relations

            of the care receiver. This bias to move people out of an option to be

            caregivers at home but to highly value the job when someone else

            does it, creates an illogic in most other careers where

             a job is a job and is defined for its worth by the tasks done       

            and the benefit derived to those taken care of. – children.

labor – should mean effort expended, usually implying physical

            effort . The concept of ’emotional labor’ is only newly being

            recognized.  In GDP economics however labor is only

            recognized if paid which means that even when a woman

            is in labor giving birth she is not deemed to be in economic

            terms a laborer

labor force – should mean all those who do useful work’

            in society. However in economics it is restricted only

            to those whose labor is paid, thereby ignoring all those

            whose labor is not paid.

leave – is the expression often used to describe the interval a

            mother or father spends paid or unpaid but away

            briefly from the paid job, to tend a newborn

            or ailing child. There is maternity leave or paternity      

            leave or personal leave or parental leave.  The term

            is used in the military to designate holiday time,

            and used in the care sector therefore implies

             unfortunately that this time is going to be

            relaxing and a holiday, not noticing the intense

            obligations of the role in the home.

            The expression’ leave’ also implies that the

            worker got permission – ‘by your leave’ -to

            be home, as if this is a privilege that was

            requested, and is granted, from someone

            in authority who could say no. This use of the

            term for care of the  young therefore also suggests

            that the person who needs time away from paid

            work should be humble and contrite asking for it,

            and is asking to in essence be forgiven for taking

            this time’ off’.  Such a use of the term therefore

            demeans the care role as if it were personally

            embarrassing and a source of shame.


            In our society for someone to be respected officialdom often

            requires standards to be met. To protect the public we inspect

            and license restaurants, subways, passenger vehicles. We license

            doctors, lawyers, dentists, plumbers. We believe in credentials

            and standards and should

            However in the area of the life at home, there is a tradition

            of trust.  We live in homes where the electrical wiring was

            inspected, where the walls had to pass building code, where

            the food we bought at the store had to pass health and safety

            rules, but the meals we serve actually are not licensed. We

            clean our house mostly without government inspection.

            In the area of how we raise our kids there are many laws

            requiring supervision, and harsh punishments for abuse or

            neglect. Parents already are held to high standards in the community

            But daycare lobbyists have adopted the concept of licensing

            and inspection an odd way, as if to imply that a care arrangement

            without a formal license on the wall is not to be trusted, and

            by implication that a home is an ‘unlicensed’ area. That argument

            however seems to go too far. It belittles an entire history of

            choice and respect of individuals about their choices

            In our society for someone to be respected officialdom often

            requires standards to be met. To protect the public we inspect

            and license restaurants, subways, passenger vehicles. We license

            doctors, lawyers, dentists, plumbers. We believe in credentials

            and standards and should

            However in the area of the life at home, there is a tradition

            of trust.  We live in homes where the electrical wiring was

            inspected, where the walls had to pass building code, where

            the food we bought at the store had to pass health and safety

            rules, but the meals we serve actually are not licensed. We

            clean our house mostly without government inspection.

            In the area of how we raise our kids there are many laws

            requiring supervision, and harsh punishments for abuse or

            neglect. Parents already are held to high standards in the community

            But daycare lobbyists have adopted the concept of licensing

            and inspection an odd way, as if to imply that a care arrangement

            without a formal license on the wall is not to be trusted, and

            by implication that a home is an ‘unlicensed’ area. That argument

            however seems to go too far. It belittles an entire history of

            choice and respect of individuals about their choices

live off – Economics uses the expression ‘to live off

            the land’ to mean to derive income and sustenance

            from crops and agriculture. The expression is also

            used to describe those who do not themselves do

            useful work but who lazily are funded by someone

            else, as it leeches.  A pimp is said to ‘live off ‘ the avails

            of prostitution. The notion that an unpaid caregiver

            ‘lives off’ someone else grossly devalues the role.

minder – a child minder is one who takes care of children.  The term ‘mind’ however has

            many meanings.  It can mean to be wary of (mind the gap), to make

            special effort to cooperate (mind your manners)  or to be careful (mind

            what you say) or to monitor (mind the store). To be asked if you ‘mind’, asks if             you are inconvenienced or uncomfortable with an idea and to say you don’t mind             implies you are not uncomfortable. Mind can also mean to obey (mind your             mother)This term then when used to apply to those who take care of children

            and who ‘mind’ the children, carries with it oddly suggestions of inconvenience

            or vagueness about who makes the decisions.

money spent – on the costs/ expenses/ outlay side of a ledger, this is

            the money that was paid out, as contrasted with income/ revenue/          

            money received.  Balancing the books is trying to ensure that

            money received is more than money paid out so there is enough

            money left for personal use and savings and wellbeing.

            When governments balance their books, they do not look however

            at a third category – revenue received that was not in the form

            of money.  When a service is performed for free such as care

            of the sick at home, the state did not have to fund hospital care.

            When a senior is tended at home or a handicapped child is cared

            for at home, the state did not have to fund care at an insitutional

            setting.  This category of money that did not have to be spent is

            however a type of income for the state.  Studies of health care

            have noted that the first tier of health care on which nations actually

            depend and that they assume and take for granted, is care of the

            sick at home, and care of those recovering from surgery, at home.

            The unpaid care sector provides this revenue in kind, to the state.

need – should mean a legitimate requirement, not just

            a preference. There are lists of human needs for

            survival including air, water, food, clothing, shelter

            and there are lists of hierarchies of needs to also include

            what is vital for emotional wellbeing such as

            feeling useful, connecting with others.  In GDP

            economics however there is a perception that

            needs are only related to money and that the key

            need of citizens is for a paid job, and along with that

            then, the need for enablers to get and hold that paid job.          

            There is technically no ‘need’ for 3rd party childcare

            as a basic human need and some might argue that a child’s

            need for care and love and attention is actually not always

            best served in third party care, and yet some  activists

            lobby government that the economy needs to provide

            3rd party care of the young and seniors and the handicapped

            in order for the economy to thrive.

nurture – means to bring up, train, protect, support encourage.  One might notice that

            the goal is somewhat abstract and long term, with important goals that are

            not easily testable.  In traditional economics however testable outcomes are

            preferred, with bottom line accounting, costs, benefits. Such analysis of

            nurturing however is not as appropriate.

occupation – logically this term implies the activity done to occupy

            one’s time, how they spend most of their time.. However in

            the GDP economy it has come to mean only what activtities

            are done for pay, thereby ignoring all unpaid roles.  This omission

            is so severe that in official lists of occupations and professions

            in many nations, there is no category in the census or any

            official document for the unpaid caregiver.

old – not young. The term implies those in the later stages not earlier stages of life. In

            some cultures the term implies maturity, wisdom but in many cultures in the

            west, it has negative connotations. In GDP economies that focuses on constant

            growth,higher productivity, creativity, job creation, what is new is celebrated as

            innovative and good, while just by virtue of being old, many products are

            devalued. Old fashioned is a pejorative term for clothing or appliances,

            technology and sometimes for ideas.  The emotional association of the term

            old applied to people can also suggest devaluing – my ‘old man’ can mean

            parent, but ‘old woman’ is generally an insult.  Old wives’ tales interestingly

            is an expression with a double insult. An old wives’ tales means an inaccurate

            idea, a myth that is passionately believed in but wrong. The reason it is

            wrong seems to be age plus association with married women.

overtime – time spent above the normal requirements of the job.

            The spending of time beyond what is expected is usually

            remunerated at a higher rate, sometimes at 50% more

            or even 100% more than the normal hourly rate.  This

            practice in GDP economics ensures that necessary tasks

            will be done with some reward for doing them. However

            since care roles in the home are not recognized as useful

            work, and are unpaid, they are also not recognized

            when the time spent for them is over the standard

            40 hour paid work week. The concept of regular hours

            and then leisure is not conceived of for care providers

            whose care obligations to tend the young or sick or

            frail elderly can be 18 hour days without much break

            for lunch and no change of hours on weekends. 

            Though these intense hour demands of care roles

            are common, officials generally do not see the time

            as overtime, and when lobbied to recognize caregiver

            exhaustion or struggles to also do paid work at the same

            time, often respond only to value the paid side.

            The common intervention is for the state to fund people

            when they hire a substitute, to give them ‘respite’ but

            to not fund them for when they do the role themselves.

            The problem with noticing the time commitments

            of caregiving only for the exhaustion they cause tends to

            also see them as obstacles and burdens to avoid. When

            doctors and lawyers put in long hours they are admired

            by society.When parents put in long hours, economics

            however see them as needing escape from their role.


            When we tally ‘peak levels of participation in the labour force” the words imply

            that this is a good thing to be part of. We don’t speak of participation

            in a fire. We speak of enduring a fire, suffering through a fire.

            So the words assume that being in paid labor is better than not.

            Do we use the same expression for unpaid roles? Do we tally

            participation in at home parenting, participation in the

            volunteer sector to drive patients to hospital for cancer treatment?

            It is fairer if we use respectful even admiring terms for unpaid

            roles too.

            In our own documents we refer to people who are ‘available to

            furnish the supply of labour” for production of goods and services.

            Those are expressions inferring that paid labor is what you

            want to be ready to do, available. We are implying there is a need

            for paid work and we ‘furnish’ this need.  Those are logical terms

            and yet do we do the parallel for the  unpaid labor sector? Do

            we promote parents being available to attend a school concert,

            available to listen to an upset teen or take care of a sick child?

            Do we as a society ‘furnish’ and enable a grandma to come to the

            home. to help in the care of a newborn? In other words are we fairly enabling

            availability for unpaid roles not just paid roles?

patchwork – a variety of pieces of cloth, sewn together that may or may

            not have an overall design. Patches are often sewn on makeshift

            repairs and patchwork items are often seen as imperfect, haphazard

            and not reliable to be able to do the task.  The 3rd party childcare

            sector often argues to government that it deserves guaranteed

            funding that matches all jursdictions so that parents in all

            locations only have to pay the same fees wherever they are.

            They claim that the current system presents widely divergent fees

            to parents and what is needed is to standardize them. What is often

            ignored by such an argument is that the patchwork is even larger,

            that the inqualities between funding the care styles outside of the

            3rd party daycare are even greater . If the goal is to standardize

            funding it is logical to ask for funding to go per child and let

            parents choose where to spend it, even on family based care,

            in order to avoid the haphazard inequality of a patchwork. However

            if the goal is in fact to eliminate the diversity and have one system

            that is the same for all people, that goal may actually not meet the

            other worthy goal of choice and diversity. Some people want care

            by a parent, some by a grandparent, some by a nanny, some by

            a 3rd party daycare. In that regard democracy and choice do

            celebrate a patchwork, and the valuing of many styles of care.

pay – reward, compensation, salary – In economics terms the meaning of

            pay has expanded however beyond just income. It also

            have come to mean worth, so that a higher paid employee

            is worth more to the company and a wealthy person is seen

            as more important, more influential, wiser, and more useful

            to contact.  Those with low pay suffer the stigma not only

            of poverty and discrimination based on income, but also

            the second stigma of low self esteem for they often also

            have come to believe they have less value because they

            have less money.  In economics good work is rewarded

            with more pay, with bonuses, company shares, more money 

            on top of money. The unpaid caregiver is not given either

            pay or the assumed praise that comes with pay. What is often

            assumed is that the pay for the unpaid caregiver is happiness

            just to do the role. The mother’s reward is the smile of her

            child- is a common theme. GDP economics assumes that

            is how unpaid caregivers function and has no category for

            treating them otherwise. Even though the rewards of being

            with those you love are emotionally very real, there are still

            however no free grocery aisles for unpaid caregivers. In

             a world where money is required to take part in society

            it is odd to still have economic plans that assume that an

            unpaid sector can continue to provide vital care, free.

pension – is money given to former paid workers to ensure their wellbeing after

            they have devoted many years of service. It is deferred income saved up

            plus company or government funds to augment the amount so that the

            person no longer at paid work can have a reasonable standard of living

            still.  This type of recognition is nearly never offered to unpaid caregivers

            for their years of work

poor – the term has two meanings that often are unfortunately

            assumed to be linked. It can mean financially less endowed,

            not rich, lacking funds.  However the term can also mean

            low quality such as a poor design, a poor performance.

            It has been noticed however that the poor are often assumed

            in economies to not just be lacking funds but to also be

            of lower status, lacking initiative, lacking dignity and

            not worthy of respect. The expression when linked to

            parents has developed a stereotype where a mother in

‘           poverty is assumed to be a poor mother, not good at

            mothering. In some jurisdictions when a woman is

            pregnant and poor, she is more often urged by officials

            to abort the pregnancy. If she gives birth and is in poverty

            that child may be seized by authorities immediately

            as a child ‘at risk’, simply because of the mother’s poverty

            which it assumed also means she is not going to be able

            to be a good mother.

privacy – freedom from being observed, getting public attention. The

            home is considered in many countries an area of protected privacy

            and the reason some governments refuse to value roles there

            is sometimes given that the state would be infringing on privacy.

            The idea of the state inspecting the household to determine

            what care roles they do and how much or well is offensive to

            the right to privacy. However this excuse may not be the real

            issue since it is not necessary for the state to inspect caregiving

            to respect it. When salaries are paid, workers are not inspected for

            how they spend them since there is a trust involved that they

            will make personal decisions that are best for them. The default

            position of government is to trust the people.  Family members

            who provide care of loved ones are visible in the community and

            subject already to standards for ensuring good care.

product -in economics businesses are created offering products or

            services to the public, in exchange for money.  The unpaid

            care sector however is not visible to the GDP economy

            even though the benefit it provides to the community       

            is one of the most tangible of all- new humans, babies,

            future adult citizens and taxpayers. The’product’ of

            human reproduction is not deemed a useful product

            of an economy, oddly enough and even a woman

            giving birth is not seen as productive at that moment.

            The service rendered of feeding a child, raising it

            to have social skills and education skills and employable

            skills and survival skills to take over as older generations

            withdraw from life is also oddly  not seen as a service

            in the economy.  Even though it provides the most

            tangible benefit to an economy there could be,

            the sustainability of the race itself – it is not counted

            as part of the economy.

profession- is an occupation that one professes or claims to be skilled at. The term

            implies high skill level and can apply to the trades, master carpenter,

            electrician, plumber but is often used to designate certain highly educated

            occupations such as lawyer, doctor, engineer, accountant.  The term

            implies expertise, competence and also ability to earn high pay for the

            skills acquired.  It is never a term applied to unpaid caregivers, not

            even to very skilled ones, thereby ignoring their competence.

professional – in sports the amateur is defined as

            not paid to perform while the professional

            is paid.  The designation of professional often

            focuses on money and in the care sector has

            created some ironies. Since caregiving is a role

            that, like swimming, is often learned through

            mentorship and experience, the formal book

            qualifications have not been many.  However

            once care roles became part of government

            planning, and government only valued paid

            care by third parties, the tendency in economics

            was also to only consider competent those

            who had formal training through courses and

            certificates, and to discount experience, and to

            call those with the book qualifications the

            professionals at caregiving.  This tilt to devaluing

            the people who had been providing care for years

            reached such an extreme that a Filipino mother

            of three who had spent many years taking care of her

            own children was not counted as eligible to be

            a hired nanny in a Canadian government caregiver

            program because she was deemed to have no experience

            taking care of children unless she had had a paid job

            taking care of children of someone else.

put food on the table, bring home the bacon, breadwinner – the popular

            slogans for earning money interestingly are often concrete

            images of home based roles.  One might notice that the

            justification for paid work, to be able to do these things

            however does not value the person who actually does

            serve the food, or cook the bacon or bake or serve

            the bread.  The idea that only money creates the

            means to eat ignores the role of shopping for

            food, gardening, preparing, serving the food,

            teaching toddlers how to use a spoon or children

            how to prepare a meal.  Even in the images we

            devalue the unpaid role/

quality of care – There are several problems with this expression.

            First there are very few testable benchmarks for quality  in what matters –             outcomes for the child.  The daycare movement makes very few objective claims             about test scores for child’s literacy, fluency, physical fitness, dexterity.  The             daycare movement does not even try to measure these things

raising a child – Some in the unpaid care movement have implied that women who use       full-time daycare see the child so little that the one ‘raising the child’ is the             daycare. This also is emotionalism however and hurtful and should not be part of a scientific discussion.  All parents are ‘raising’ their children.

reality / facts/ facing facts – the discussions about whether a

            parent should be home with a child or out at paid work

            are often emotional and personal.  One common argument

            is that a woman may wish to be home but the ‘reality’ is

            she needs money so she had to go to paid work. This

            compelling reality is undeniable. However there are other

            realities. A crying baby that wants its parent could

            also be seen as a reality. A mother who desperately

            wants to be with her baby and will be very distraught

            when not with it, is also a reality.  When we face reality

            we are wise to consider the various ways people look

            at it. We might also notice that any tax or economic reality  

            we have set up for citizens is human made.  If we had

            a birth bonus and a significant maternity benefit for

            all mothers of newborns, and a family based tax

            and a significant family allowance or child dependent

            deduction we would have created a different reality

            where it was affordable to be home with the child

            or to go to paid work and pay for a substitute caregiver,

            or a combination of both. When governments argue

            that some parents’ have to ‘ go to paid work and

            that is their reality, we could point out that that is

            a reality we have created and can change. When

            the reality we designed forces babies from their

            mothers it is a reality we morally should change.

regulated care –the daycare lobby assumes that only this type of care has value, and some    actually call any other care ‘unregulated’ and even ‘illegal’. This is actually             emotionalism creeping into the discussion because what is being called ‘illegal’             by that designation is care by a mother.  This is emotionalism and inappropriate to             a scientific discussion.

resources and parenting classes – when funding is noticed going preferentially

            to 3rd party care of children not to family based care, some government

            offer what they may consider an equivalent for parents not using  daycare

            -the drop in resource centre. Such centres however do not fund the

            parent but only the centre and though without cost to the parent

            also do not provide financial benefit, unlike daycares which take

            over care of the child so the parent earns money. The resource   

            centre does not offset costs parents at home incur. A parenting

            centre also sometimes gives advice to new parents and parenting

            classes, which though useful also give the message that parents are

            not knowledgeable or skilled. So the resouce centre as a match for government

            funding to daycare centres is not nearly equivalent in financial support amount

            or in message of valuing care styles other than 3rd party daycare.

retirement – is departure from the paid work world in economic terms. The

            root of the word from tirer means to pull back, to move out of the

            picture, ti withdraw. In that regard in GDP economics it has also come

            to suggest a larger withdrawal however, – from being active, from     

            being productive, from being useful. Age discrimination against seniors

            may be linked to the negative associations about those who no longer are

            paid salary, as if to lack salary means to lack value.  It is possible to

            reconceive of the idea however and to look at retirement as retreading,

            to use skills new ways and have new roles as senior advisers and mentors

            or new volunteer and caregiving roles needed by society.  Much of the

            volunteer work in a country is done by those who are ‘retired’ and deemed

            inactive but who are actually very active.  In justice circles when a jury

            retires to consider a verdict, they are doing some of their hardest and

            most vital work. The retired often fund the education and housing

            of some of their adult children and grandchildren and their bank savings

            and investment often provide the funds to support business loans for

            the nation.  The idea they are useless and inactive in the economy

            is inaccurate.

rights- The right of women to pay equity is a very much vaunted right

            since the 1960s.  Logically it does mean that women should

            be paid the same as men despite any aspect their gender has

            that previously was seen to disqualify them. So pregnancy,

            breast feeding,tending a newborn, being home with a sick child

            should all be possible and not penalized -not in salary, not in

            promotion and not in pension.

            However the argument has been tilted to look only at one slice

            of it. If women have such rights to dignity for their care obligations

            then surely those who choose to home with a child also have

            those rights.  To look down on such a choice actually denies

            women the dignity and freedom that the women’s rights

            movement says it endorses.

            When we speak of the rights of the child, most international conventions

            look at the right to clean air and water, the right to security, safety,

            the right to adequate food and clothing and shelter, the right to an education.

            Daycares can claim to provide all of those  But so can parents.

            When we look at the rights of the child to being raised in  the

            language, culture and religion of the parents, there may be more

            of a challenge for daycares. When we look at the right of the

            child to be raised with the diet adjustments and festive days of

            that child’s culture, daycares may have a challenge providing

            that or even knowing it.  When we look at the right of the child

            to the presence of the parent, the stable continuing presence of

            the same adult for years, in order to have emotional stability

            daycares may have a problem providing that, particularly with

            large centres where kids move to new rooms and new

            supervisors as they get each year older.

            So the emphasis on rights can be looked at several ways.

            Daycares can for sure ensure some rights of the child are met.

            But it is parents who have the greatest ability to know and

            the defended right to choose in all the decisions about

            language, culture, religion, diet, personaliity.

            When daycare advocates argue that women have the ‘right’ to

            follow their dreams and have their careers, even when they have

            children, that argument taps on the right to freedom to choose.

            And yet if the option of being with the child is denied, that same

            vaunted freedom is denied. Only by valuing all roles of women

            (or men) is there freedom to choose. 

            The right of women to pay equity is a very much vaunted right

            since the 1960s.  Logically it does mean that women should

            be paid the same as men despite any aspect their gender has

            that previously was seen to disqualify them. So pregnancy,

            breast feeding,tending a newborn, being home with a sick child

            should all be possible and not penalized -not in salary, not in

            promotion and not in pension.

            However the argument has been tilted to look only at one slice

            of it. If women have such rights to dignity for their care obligations

            then surely those who choose to home with a child also have

            those rights.  To look down on such a choice actually denies

            women the dignity and freedom that the women’s rights

            movement says it endorses.

            When we speak of the rights of the child, most international conventions

            look at the right to clean air and water, the right to security, safety,

            the right to adequate food and clothing and shelter, the right to an education.

            Daycares can claim to provide all of those  But so can parents.

            When we look at the rights of the child to being raised in  the

            language, culture and religion of the parents, there may be more

            of a challenge for daycares. When we look at the right of the

            child to be raised with the diet adjustments and festive days of

            that child’s culture, daycares may have a challenge providing

            that or even knowing it.  When we look at the right of the child

            to the presence of the parent, the stable continuing presence of

            the same adult for years, in order to have emotional stability

            daycares may have a problem providing that, particularly with

            large centres where kids move to new rooms and new

            supervisors as they get each year older.

            So the emphasis on rights can be looked at several ways.

            Daycares can for sure ensure some rights of the child are met.

            But it is parents who have the greatest ability to know and

            the defended right to choose in all the decisions about

            language, culture, religion, diet, personaliity.

            When daycare advocates argue that women have the ‘right’ to

            follow their dreams and have their careers, even when they have

            children, that argument taps on the right to freedom to choose.

            And yet if the option of being with the child is denied, that same

            vaunted freedom is denied. Only by valuing all roles of women

servant – a person who provides duties for others, often out of

            devotion. However in GDP economics the term implies

            paid work, though somewhat of lesser value that other

            paid work.  The assumption of lower social status for

            those who do as told, for those who wait on others

            and enable them to succeed is a feature of GDP economics

            that also links income to social rank.  The servant

            is paid less and pay is kept lower to ensure their

            social status is not high and it becomes a vicious

            circle. The one who performs roles to serve and wait on others

            who is unpaid is socially then at the very lowest rung, since

            they are not only expected to defer to others and also

            not even recognized as working or their role as worth money.

            In the women’s rights struggle, the assumption women at home

            were to become servants of men was exacerbated by social

            policy that required the woman to take the man’s name

            and tax policy that assumed that the woman would be

            financially dependent on the man, akin to having the status

            of a child.  As women tried to address this assumption, one

            answer was for women to leave the home, have paid careers,

            have their own  money and not be seen as servant to

            anyone. However that solution made required men

            and women both to have paid work and to leave the care

            role. The assumption the care role was the servant role and

            itself the problem however has been studied again by

            feminist writers. Another solution to the perception of lower

            status for the care giver is to raise its status, and to allow

            however does it, male or female, to get funding and

            equality status for that role. In that way neither party

            is seen as depending solely on the other and interdependence         

            is more recognized.  The answer to not wanting to be seen as

            only a servant may be to escape service roles, or it might be

            to see the roles as mutual service and to respect doing them

            as equal in value to the household.

service -, and one might assume the parallel is made to the police service, the ambulance             service or public utilities. The expression conveys the impression of response to a             universal public need and a community sharing of what all agree is essential. In             fact not all people do agree daycare is a care style they want and since it does not       make any provable claims about being an educational facility superior to other             educational styles in the early years, then it is only one of several ways to reach a             goal. To fund only the one route is therefore not a service but a prejudice, like             asking the community to subsidize one hamburger restaurant and no other             restaurants.

single parent’ and ‘lone parent household’ are also misleading. The terms suggest that the             parent is raising the children without the presence of financial help of the spouse             and yet this is often not the case. Separation and divorce agreements often provide             for access to the child from the other spouse, if not outright joint custody and very             often there is also provision for financial support, if not of the custodial spouse, at             least of the child. That being the case, the ‘lone parent’ is far from alone in raising   the child and the term is misleading.  Many noncustodial spouses, often men, have             expressed their dismay at census terminology that assumes that just because they      live apart from the children sometimes, they are no longer active in the children’s             lives. They feel very much that they are not ‘single’ as the census would indicate,             but that they are fathers raising children.  The census oddity of counting the             children only one place does tend to degrade the role of such spouses, and             sympathetically elevate the role of the parent with whom the children are counted.             We may want to consider using expressions like ‘joint-custody parent’ or ‘shared             custody parent’ to more accurately reflect the real situation. 

slave – worker forced to do the labor, unpaid and without choice

            or expressions of gratitude. In the women’s rights movement

            the 1960s perception was that women in the home were

            metaphorically enslaved there, unable to escape the stereotype

            of dependency, lack of skill and the obstacles placed to paid

            career and financial independence. The woman was sometimes

            described as ‘chained to the sink’. In the 1990s when tax laws

            and human rights laws changed to ensure women were able

            to enter any profession, have pay equity there and job advancement

            the same as men, the chain to the sink complaint was no longer

            valid. However a new problem had become noticed.  Now when

            women were nudged to enter paid work, to have paid careers

            even when their children were young, were only given

            benefits even for caregiving such as maternity benefits

            or leave time if they had paid work attachment, it was noticed

            that women were not just as free as they had assumed they would

            be. Now they could have any career except homemaker, and

            they were could get financial recognition for any role except mother at home

            This created the oddity that many who wanted to be home

            with the baby could not. It was not made affordable and

            they were chained now, to the office desk. Observers in    

            third wave feminism argued in the 2000s to liberate women

            and men by ensuring they could pick the role – in paid career

            or in the home as caregivers, with equal dignity and

            adequate financial support that neither lifestyle was forced

            by the state.

social security- logically is the guarantee of safety and protection in the

            social milieu, and might imply financial security, safety, health

            protection. It may imply the efforts of a community to ensure that

            all of its members enjoy at least a basic level of protection without

            fear of loss of food or residence or care in case of illness. In the GDP

            economy however it has come to mean only that branch of a tax

            system that hands out benefits to the poor, often money they

            can use for basic needs.  In fact security is multifaceted and the

            guarantee you can still be with those you love, the guarantee

            you will not be taken from them arbitrarily, that you can practise

            your religion, act on your lawful beliefs without fear of penalty

            is also vital to feeling secure in a society. The unpaid care sector

            is a key provider of social security but oddly is seen not only as

            not useful in it, but forced into financial need as if they are the

            ones seeking social security.  When their role is not valued with

            money government looks at a very restricted definition of social


socialization- should mean learning how to get along

            with others, how to navigate personal relationships,

            be a friend, share, take turns, be polite and kind.

            However the paid care sector has often used the

            term to imply that only they by large group

            interactions enable children to have friends

            or seniors to have social contacts. What is

            often ignored by that restricted use is that babies

            as they interact with the parent are already

            being socialized and as they play with siblings

            are already learning social skills, and as they

            have playmates in the neighborhood and at

            their churches and play groups and community       

            sports are already being socialized.  Paid care

            settings in large groups may offer more social   

            exposure but also more pressure, more competition

            for attention and less chance of escape from

            social interaction.

space – is a geographical measurement of a location and in economics

            there are expressions like office space, living space.  The dimensions

            of the space for hospital beds, prison cells or office cubicles are

            studied for physical needs and practical needs of those who

            spend time there.  However in the care sector, economics

            often speaks of daycare ‘spaces’ not as physical locations but

            as funded availabilities, a more abstract concept. Governments

            are asked to fund daycare’ spaces’ to accommodate that number

            of children.  In some documents the child is also referred to

            as a space.  This funding formula to refer to people as the location

            they occupy could be seen as demeaning as well as inefficient.        

            To fund a ‘space’ in case a child needs it, means the availability  

            is funded, whether used or not.  This is like providing a free

            hamburger on the counter at noon for every child, whether

            or not they eat hamburgers or if they happen to prefer hot dogs.

staff ratio -in caregiving tallies are sometimes reported of the

            number of caregivers compared to the number who need care.

            This ratio of adults to children or staff to seniors at a nursing

            home may be legislated as a minimal level to ensure attentive

            care. However the reporting of such numbers can be deceptive

            and manipulated. When costs of operating a care facility are

            high, it is tempting for operators to have fewer staff and to list the

            ratio counting all adults in the building such as cleaners,

            cooks, drivers, office staff, as if they were directly interacting

            with the care receiver.  Ratios are also reported in ways

            that may be misleading if the number of children in a group

            is reported, such as fifteen three year olds to one adult, and

            yet what is not reported is the number of children

            in a room, such as 3-4 and 5 year olds all in the

            same large room, in separate groups but with a noise

            and distraction level that clearly operates as a very

            large group.

stakeholder – the daycare movement assumes that those who are consulted about laws for             care of children should be only the users of daycare.  This however excludes all             parents who also have a stake not only in care of children, but in the wellbeing of             the nation’s children, philosophically. And it also excludes from the discussion             those who have a financial stake because they are being asked to foot the bill for        daycare by their taxes. And it excludes from the discussion mothers at home in a             role that is historically female, which means the exclusion also deprives women             of input into laws that affect them. These exclusions are actually contrary to             accurate admissions of who actually are ‘stakeholders’.

stay home – the designation for a women or man who

            is at home taking care of a child is often that

            they do not ‘work’ and just ‘stay home’. They

            are even labelled ‘stay-at-home ‘ moms or

            dads. This designation however is also used

            for a child who is sick and not at school or

            an adult employee who is ill and requests that

            they might stay home to rest and recover. The

            expression therefore carries with it the suggestion

            of not doing one’s duty, of not contributing

            useful effort and of being vaguely malfunctioning.

            and certainly lesser than those who ‘go to work’.

substitute  – in most paid jobs the one who does the job most

            of the time may require a stand in or subsitute

            from time to time and this person usually has to

            be as qualified as the one being replaced. Doctors in

            emergency wards are on a rotation and each one

            is very qualified and is paid well based on those          

            skills.  They take turns but are all equal.  However

            with unpaid caregivers, economics not only considers

            their work of no value and worth no remuneration

            but also if they are unable to do the role due to

            illness and have to get a substitute, the status

            of this person is also unique. If the stand in is

            a relative such as the grandparent, as if often

            the case, that person also is required to be an

            unpaid caregiver since pay for care of a family

            member is not legally a paid position that can

            be deducted as a cost.  If however the substitute’

            available is a stranger, or nonfamily member friend

            not only is that person payable but suddenly

            in economics terms, that person is doing useful

            work, is providing respite care and may even

            be subsidized by government.  This concept of

            the regular worker deserving no remuneration but

            the substitute getting remuneration is another

            evidence of the unfair devaluing of the traditional care


support – should mean encouragement but in the

            law child support and spousal support are only

            about money. Emotional support is not considered


            The daycare lobby says it offers support for parents by operating daycares.  This             expression is problematic..

            First the claim is made that people need daycare so women can earn.  The             expression is often used that daycare is for people who ‘need to or choose to ‘             work. Aside from the misuse of the term work discussed earlier, the distinction is             not made between having to earn and choosing to earn, though in a democracy             these are quite different motivations.  Support for someone who chooses a role, is             probably a positive thing but support to help someone who is forced away from     what she wants, by helping her be forced away, is not nearly as positive. It would   be as conceivable to support this parent by helping her not have to leave.

            Second, the ‘support’ offered is of either two types. One is advice and counseling.             Another is a series of ‘programs’ such as toy lending, play groups and other non-            home based activities. And another is input into how the daycare is run.  All of             these supports are again a win for the daycare operator because the money flows             only to the daycare operator not the parent. The support for the parent is in             essence having a store the parent can or cannot shop at.  This idea of support is             problematic because not all parents want the advice and many do not wish to             borrow the toys . When we learn there is a clothing store in the neighborhood that       will tell us how to dress, that may not really be seen as ‘support’ by all the people             in the district. objective/ subjective data collectio

system- a comprehensive, organized plan with associated

            levels of administration and predictability of function

            When 3rd party care activists ask for a system of

            childcare to be funded by government, they are usually

            seeking not only standardized care but also continued

            funding for that particular care as a permanent commitment

            and branch of government services. The appeal of such a

            plan for child operators is to have guaranteed jobs

            and for parents in theory is to have assurance that wherever

            they put the child the child will be safe and receive predictable

            care.  However the argumment for a system also usually precludes

            funding any other care styles, and often asks for the flow

            of funding to not even to the parent to make choices but to

            go to the childcare facility directly.  Such a funding formula

            would therefore only benefit the users and operators of

            that one care style.

tax – the amount of money paid to government from the individual

            or business as its share of the general community  interest in

            education, defense, safe roads, policing, health care. etc.

            The amount of tax paid is linked to the ability to pay so

            the rich have more ability to pay and are required to pay

            higher tax than do the poor. The amount of money left over

            after one pays tax is what they can ‘live on’ and in capitalist

            societies the amount left over is calculated to still allow

            the rich to be rich, to be an incentive and reward for hard

            work.  What is interesting is that the unpaid caregiver

            who is not paid and therefore is assumed to not pay tax

            is actually also viewed as lazy in the economy and

            in some nations households with a nonearning spouse

            pay higher tax than those with two partners who both earn.

            The unpaid caregiver also might be seen as paying the

            highest tax of all – for all of her effort and service are

            provided for others and she has nothing left over in

            cash at all after paying this ‘tax ‘ in kind. Her tax

            rate therefore is 100%.

time off – in businesses, time is closely linked to money.

            Some people punch a clock to count their hours

            and take a timed lunch break or coffee break.

            They are paid by the hour or day and salaries

            are often paid and reported based on time eg

            per month, per year.  Taxis charge for unit

            of time of travel and deliveries offer service

            based on time the customer has to wait.  The idea

            that time is money creates the corollary that money

            is also time – and for the unwaged worker suggests

            that without money they also are not wiser

            users of time, have endless leisure time and

            are always taking time ‘off’ from work because

            they are not at paid work.  When women leave

            a paid job to have a baby they are said to be

            taking time ‘off’ as if it were leisure.  This strong

            association of money and time, with paid work

            and value has led to expressions that may even

            have stigma. The ‘part time worker’ who has a paid job

            only for 20 hours a week not 40, may have chosen that

            job schedule in order to also be an unpaid caregiver

            in the home. However the designation part time worker

            also implies that they only work at all, half the time.

            The expression has even been used as if a badge

            of identity where a job ad might say “part time

            person needed’. This use of the expression to

            recognize a person’s work, worth and even personhood

            based on their paid work shows a significant stigma

            to unpaid roles.

 training – this again is seen as a good thing by daycare lobbyists who also never specify what the training involves, how much it costs or the career advancement             incentives of money or promotion that may be involved. What is also not every    clearly             indicated is how much time the staff person takes away from the child in order to get training.  In a situation of very young children attachment develops to             a significant adult and failure to attach to someone has been linked to much             emotional and mental anguish in later years. We want young children to feel             specially close to someone. And yet if the childcare setting does not provide             consistency of the same person day after day after day, the child will actually             suffer emotionally. In my experience absence of a teacher even for one day due to         illness upsets small children in kindergarten because they are just forming their      ideas of what can be counted on in life and their own understandings or routines             and how the world works.  If we take the adult away too often for ‘training’ the             child actually suffers. We are also not told how  substitute care workers are hired     when there is absence of the regular staff person and we are not told clearly how             often any given child has a change in caregiver as the child ages. Much research             has shown that children need the same caregiver for the first 3 years and yet few             care centers provide that consistency, often moving the child into a new age-            group every year.  These changes in who is the caregiver may seem only             administrative to the daycare operator but to the young child they are potentially             the most important facet of the daycare and can be very upsetting if not traumatic.

universal- applying to all. Such a term is often  used when caregiving

            advocates ask for a 3rd party care system to be available to

            all who may want it, therefore ‘universally’. However one might

            notice that the argument usually is for funding to not go to

            those who do not use that 3rd party care, so it is not in fact

            of universal benefit, only of benefit to those who use it.

            A truly universal system would fund every child everywhere

            and then parents could decide what type of care to provide

            the child.

unpaid, unwaged, unremunerated – should mean

            simply not receiving money for the role performed.

            In GDP economics however the lack of pay not

            only means the role is ignored but also suggests

            that the role had no value, was not useful

            and that it even should be discouraged. In that

            regard the linking of pay to value also has had

            the negative effect emotionally on those whose

            work is unpaid that they also may start to feel

            their work is of low value to society also,even if it is tending

            and nurturing lives of those they love.

unpaid work-work that is  not compensated by money. The

            GDP economy is blind to such work done in the

            home and to volunteer work because it assumes that

            only when an activity is paid is it work and only when

            it is paid does it benefit the economy. However, there

            is one category of unpaid work the GDP economy does

            recognize- unpaid internship at the office. In that

            situation a worker whose role would be paid if done

            by a trained worker is not paid because they are deemed

            to not offer a high enough quality of work to yet merit

            pay.  The trades have often had  a qualifying window

            for trainees and in some cases businesses can offer

            a stage of employment where the worker is low paid

            or even has to purchase their own uniform, so

            has to pay the employer for the privilege of learning

            to do the work.  This stage however has come under scrutiny

            of labor lawyers given that it presents an opportunity for

            employers to get a lot of work done for free, without having

            to provide a fair wage. These principles of fair compensation

            however suddenly are ignored for the care sector in the

            home.  There the activities are all assumed to be  done

            for free, and one might also notice that in GDP economics

            there is also a stigma that those who are unpaid workers

            interning at a business are not very competent at that

            role. This term  use then may imply oddly that the caregiver

            of the family, in the home is not only not useful but is

            also somewhat incompetent.

volunteer – a person who performs an activity without pay.
            GDP economics does not tally or notice such activity

            even though it may be a vital part of how a community

            handles crisis, deals with illness, helps during

            life events like weddings and funerals. helps train

            children in sports. reads to the blind or drives the

            sick to medical appointments. The unpaid care sector

            not only is not thanked for such activity but is in

            traditional economics actually discouraged from doing

            it by being pressured to devote time to full time not

            part time paid jobs by preference as if only in that

            way are they of most benefit to the economy.

waiting on someone – providing a service, satisfying the needs and

            demands of another. The term interestingly not only implies

            subservience and dedication to another’s wishes as a priority

            but also interestingly prioritizing their time as more valuable

            than your own. You wait for them to call you, you wait for

            their direction, your time is their time. In the women’s

            movement a key observation of women who provided

            care in the home, is that there were always there, that

            for them time has no meaning and a person need not

            inform them specifically of when they might arrive

            because their time had no value. Plumbers, appliance

            repair people often did not even make appointments

            at specific times to come to the home, under the

            assumption that the person there would just wait.

ward of the state – a minor child who has been deemed unable

            to receive care by a parent or other family member and

            is put into the care of the state. Being a ward of the

            state,uses a word with historic meaning of protection

            and being guarded and kept safe.  The warden of property

            guards it and the term has associations with administrative

            formal institutions such as electoral wards, hospital wards

            and prison wards. The warden is paid by the institution.        

            Again, in the GDP economy the traditional protector of

            the family, the parent, is not recognized as doing the useful

            service that the state recognizes of 3rd parties.

work-  is effort expended . Logically it is used in expressions such as work the land, work             the dough till it is soft, housework, yard work.  However in

            economics  none of those efforts is counted

            as work and work is limited to roles that lead to the

            flow of money, paid roles.

            The term  work also implies an onerous task, effort expended so a difficult task

            while an easy or pleasant task is not seen as work.  By that usage

            if a person gets pleasure from what they do, as caregivers may     

            admit, this is uniquely for their role seen as a disqualifer for pay. Doctors or             lawyers who enjoy what they do are, by contrast,  not then required to forego financial recognition.

working – the term implies operating well, functionning

            properly so that a working vacuum cleaner is not

            broken.  In economics however this has led to the

            expression ‘working woman ‘  to identify and

            value the woman who receives pay. However this

            expression also implies that some women are not

            not ‘working women’, and that other designation

            then for a woman in the home doing a care role

            for instance, suggests she is broken.  This assumption

            of failure, of malfunction, of deficit, of the care

            role at home, of not using skills, of not using

            their education, at not entering the paid labor

            force to show their liberated empowerment,

            also tended to degrade the care role in the home.

            In formal economics a working engineer is someone who is

            currently being paid as an engineer.  However  the

            expression ‘working mother’ is used in economics

            to refer to a mother who is doing paid work in addition

            to mothering and often apart from the children at the

            time.  This usage is not fully logical or conssitent

            In the US the slogan of the National Organization

            for Women became “Every mother is a working


working for..  When people speak of why they do paid work. the answers

            may be revealing. Some say they work to put food on the table, for the money.

            Some say the work for the company, the airline or the train company

            that they have come to believe in for its mission and purpose.

            Some say they work for love of the job, because they really

            enjoy how they can use their skills or serve the community

            policing or nursing.  There are many reasons to do paid work.

            Many feel very strongly that as they are earning they still are caregivers

            and that while not with those they love, their money is still vital

            to support the care, to pay for the clothes, house, food, schooling

            and to hire a substitute caregiver if they are not there.  They are

            full-time parents even when not at home full time with the

            children.  However the unpaid caregiver who is with the ones

            needing care, is no less committed to the role they have chosen.

            They may love it, they may be devoted to those they take care of

            and they may do it out of love, just the same as how some paid workers do it out

            of love. The difference is not the love. The difference is the money

            When unpaid caregivers are not permitted income for doing

            what has to be done, what they love to do, that is vital for society

            there is an oddity that must be addressed.

work related expenses – costs incurred in order to do the job and not discreationary  

            or optional. These are deemed ‘income-earning related expenses” and many   

            are tax deductible. Family caregivers are to permitted to claim any costs

            for their care role, not food or toys though childcare operators         

            can deduct those, not travel though childcare operators can deduct those

            and not furniture for children such as cribs, highchairs or playpens

            though childcare centres can deduct those.

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