Why don’t chil­dren from the inner city speak more clear­ly in high school?

Why don’t foot­ball play­ers, even those who are attend­ing major col­leges, speak better?

Why does it appear to have become the norm in Eng­land to say ‘wiv’ instead of ‘with’.

Why is it that chil­dren from many mid­dle class homes AREN’T learn­ing to talk by the time they are 3?

Why do babies in day­care, pub­lic or pri­vate, have per­pet­u­al­ly run­ny noses?

So, we have babies and tod­dlers who aren’t talk­ing and who are per­ma­nent­ly under par when it comes to their health and most of them have been in care from under 6 months of age.

Some chil­dren have been in sub­si­dized pro­grammes from their ear­ly years and pub­licly fund­ed facil­i­ties and schools since then. That’s 18 years or more in a facil­i­ty – is it any dif­fer­ent from orphan­ages? I call them ‘day orphan­ages’. They’re still not speak­ing well!

It is very hard to meet many chil­dren who speak flu­ent Eng­lish, even from house­holds where the par­ents are edu­cat­ed and Eng­lish speak­ing. I am usu­al­ly aston­ished when I encounter a child of 2 or 3 years of age who speaks and behaves well.

Yet anoth­er close friend has a child who at 2 1/2 is under­go­ing speech ther­a­py and cer­tain­ly wasn’t coop­er­at­ing, with any­one (and two of us are very adept with tod­dlers!) when we met for the first time – and it wasn’t The Ter­ri­ble Twos! It was big­ger than that. 

The child comes from very flu­ent par­ents who speak well and clear­ly AND…drum roll please…he’s been with his grand­par­ents or in day­care all this time, not been cared for by his mother.

My sus­pi­cion is that less­er trained and less instinc­tive day­care work­ers or car­ers still believe “Each child grows at their own pace” and don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly see that we have a respon­si­bil­i­ty to pick up on the pos­si­bil­i­ty of deaf­ness or lack of respon­sive­ness in infants.

Of course I believe that each child grows at their own pace but there are com­mon mile­stones that should be pro­gres­sive­ly reached in every child – even Down’s Syn­drome chil­dren can fit the social expec­ta­tions of nor­mal chil­dren despite their lim­i­ta­tions in some aspects of their development.

Let me reiterate…If day­care is so good…?