In late July, a discussion paper was leaked from Health Canada. Its subject: plans for huge increases in childcare spending, and the development of a national daycare program.

Perhaps people like the minister of health are too old to realize that, in the minds of children, a lot of things are more important than money – even a lot of money.

Money doesn’t buy love. It doesn’t buy people who care about you. It doesn’t buy the bonds that naturally exist between family members. And when you’re a child, you don’t care anywhere near as much about the “whats” as you care about the “who.”

This comes fairly soon after a controversy over family taxation. Social conservatives complained that if you compared a single-income family with a double-income family – both with the same income – the single-income family would pay significantly more tax. Many people suggested that making the spousal exemption equal to the personal exemption, and allowing income-splitting for tax purposes, would make the situation more fair.

The response from the left was that if the tax laws were different, fewer women would work outside the home – in other words, they are using tax law to promote their social agenda.

No conservative wants to make it difficult for ladies to work, but is forcing them to work outside the home if they don’t want to really giving anybody a choice?

It’s the same with daycare. Parents who want to use daycare get tax breaks. and the government wants to significantly increase daycare funding. On the other hand, this doesn’t apply to parents who take care of their children themselves. Many people have suggested that turning the child-care deduction into a child-tax credit (that would be paid to all parents) would be better.

The response? Well, let’s just say the government only gives tax deductions to those who agree to let the state raise their children.

So does the government have a preference? Yes, it does – a preference that goes against what is best for children. When I was four years old, I don’t think I told my mother that I would prefer that strangers take care of me all the time. If I said that I had, you would tell me that I was stupid, crazy, or ungrateful. Then how come this is the government’s preference?

When the government acts as though it can decide how parents should take care of their children, and doesn’t give the same tax advantages and funding to parents as the best caregivers for their children, I see a system that is not making children its number one priority.