Editor's Note: Ask working parents about the stresses in their lives and the list is likely to be quite long. And nearly every list will include a mention of child-care challenges, headaches or nightmares.
It's hardly surprising. In Cook County alone, there are 388,201 children under age 5 and just 147,917 day-care slots to serve them. Granted, not every preschooler needs day care. But for those who do, there should be adequate numbers of regulated, licensed facilities. Too many of those children-often the ones most in need-end up in substandard care while mom, dad or both are off to make a living.
The Women's Business Development Center in Chicago is hoping to increase the number of quality, licensed, day-care slots through its daylong Child Care Business Expo on June 21 at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 720 S. Michigan Ave.
The conference, co-sponsored by Chicago Parent, costs $45. Five hundred people, 40 percent of whom want to expand their existing child-care business and 60 percent of whom are interested in starting a day-care center or in-home day-care business, are expected.
Attendees will get the latest information on the best practices for child-care providers, as well a host of resources for the business.
Chicago Parent hosts a lot of events but few have the same impact on kids' futures as the Child Care Business Expo. It takes a village to raise children and quality day-care providers are key residents of the village.
For more information or to register, call (312) 853-3477, ext. 29.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. After reading your editorial, "Pedophiles should be shunned, not rewarded," in the May 2003 issue, I was compelled to respond. While I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of Misters Polanski and Kelly, I do take exception to one point, and it is my turn to protest.
I am unsure as to why you found it necessary to deride such causes as freedom for Tibet and honest and fair representation of gays and lesbians in the media to make your point regarding pedophilia. Perhaps your caustic tone was meant only to demonstrate your contempt for the liberal base of the Hollywood establishment, but it suggests a profound insensitivity and disregard for those living under tyranny in Tibet and for gays and lesbians.
Fundamentally, we should be striving toward one goal: the creation of a world wherein all people, be they Tibetan, homosexuals, or 13-year-old females in a male-dominated society, are free from abuse.
In the future, I hope that you will not dismiss so offhandedly such important human rights issues simply because you take exception to "those people in Hollywood." D. Janelle Goin Wheaton
Erica's story a disappointing I must say that I am extremely disappointed about the article, which glorifies single parenthood (May, 2003). I think it is completely irresponsible to honor what Ms. Salem has done.
In your editor's note, you stated that in honor of mothers day, you hoped we would enjoy Ms. Salem's unconventional journey into motherhood. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Why on Mothers Day would we celebrate a mother who deliberately brought two children into this world who will not enjoy the presence of a father in their lives?
Now, in no way am I condemning single parenthood. Often, sad circumstances force one parent to endure all of the child raising responsibilities and I applaud those who do. However, to intentionally bring that fate upon a child is selfish and irresponsible. She is basically say "I wanna a baby but I am to lazy to find the right man to make it with." As a recently divorced single father, I understand the rigors of dating in your 30's and of single parenthood and I would not wish them on anyone.
I would think a magazine on parenting would value the role of the father but apparently yours doesn't. Minimizing the role of fathers has had a terrible effect on our kids. The stats for children that grow up without a father are staggering. Think about that the next time you want to praise someone's actions. William Quinn Sauk Village, IL
Thank you for Erica's story Thank you for being open-minded enough to run the article about being a single mother by choice by Erica Salem (May, 2003). It's amazing how, in this day and age, many people are still so uninformed and even shocked when they find out that I, too, had twins via in vitro fertilization as a single mother by choice. It's a choice that I've found is often "whispered about" or judged unfairly by others--some uneducated, others just self-righteous. As Erica stated, it's not easy, but as women who long to be mothers, we have the right to pursue our dream of motherhood. I have found that most times, we end up putting much more thought, planning and courage into becoming parents than people parenting in traditional roles. Thanks again for letting Erica's story be told. Elizabeth Meeker Akron, Ohio
Detroit story unfair We read with interest about your visit to Detroit in the April issue. As you mentioned, metro Detroit is home to a variety of family-friendly attractions, and we're pleased that you and your family were able to enjoy these during your stay.
However, we were disappointed and surprised that you characterized Detroit as an unsafe city. You said "no one walked the streets after dark" during your mid-January visit. While Midwest winters are not always accommodating for outdoor strolls, a number of fine restaurants, historical landmarks and entertainment venues attract locals and visitors year round.
And we have to disagree that "there is little reason to venture downtown." Your visit coincided with the 2003 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). According to NAIAS nearly one million visitors attended the show, including many parents and children. That's just one of our spectacular special events.
We take pride in our continued efforts to make our destination more appealing to all visitors. We invite your readers to come see for themselves why it's a great time in Detroit. Larry Alexander, Detroit Metro Visitors and Convention Bureau George Zimmermann, Travel Michigan