Sunday, June 4, 2017

Let Summer Be Summer

What do you do to get ready for summer? New swimsuit? Clean off the deck furniture? Stock up on bug spray and sunscreen?

If you are a parent your first taste of summer may come in January when you start booking summer camps for your children. In the many families where both parents work, year round child care is an essential. And, by and large, the better that care is, the more expensive it is.

Thanks to the Governor (and the crusade of Comptroller Peter Franchot) school now lets out earlier and starts up again later. Please make sure you show your gratitude by going to the Eastern Shore and spending money. That's the point, after all.

But what if you can't afford that family trip to Ocean City? What if you can't afford camp? What if you rely on school lunch programs for breakfast and lunch for your children? I have to assume that Letting Summer Be Summer was not conceived with you in mind.

There are summer feeding sites in Howard County for school children. That is wonderful. But what about safe, reliable, enriching childcare? How many kids will be left at home alone with nothing but television as a daily companion?

I continue to be dismayed by the shortsightedness of this decision. Saying that "it was like this when we were young" is a poor excuse. There are plenty of things from our childhoods that have changed over time that we are happy to leave behind. To say that this is a family-friendly or child-friendly decision is disingenuous. It is a white, privileged decision.

You may now return to cleaning your deck furniture.

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