In the wake of the furore caused by the Government's bizarre plan to introduce an education curriculum for one- to three-year-olds, to be followed by nurseries and childminders, it might be pertinent to ask at just what age education begins and what we mean by "education".
In the past, it was not deemed necessary for governments to interfere in how very young children were raised because it was considered obvious that mothers would raise their own babies and toddlers, often waiting until an older child went to school before having another child, which could have mother's attention while the older one was at school.
Now, of course, mothers are encouraged to leave their small children and go out to work, being offered subsidised or free child care by the government.
The same government that deplores the amount of children so badly brought up that they cause immense problems to society as they grow while, at the same time, tries desperately not to offend or alienate women's rights groups who demand a woman's right to seek personal fulfilment outside the home.
Thus we have the situation of children being brought up by strangers with no emotional ties to the child while mothers work to keep a roof over their heads in rip-off Britain.
Political expediency decrees that we ignore research findings that say that the children who do best are those brought up their early years by a stay-at-home mother, but it seems clear that the unhappy, depressed, violent, binge-drinking, drug-addicted youngsters we have been recently producing must lack a vital ingredient in their upbringing, which they should get when very young. Education, like it or not, begins from the year dot.
It might be wearing, boring, frustrating and exhausting looking after a baby or toddler all day, every day, but it is nevertheless the ideal way of equipping a child emotionally, intellectually, academically and socially for life, because at this age they learn without knowing they are learning.
It costs only time to make your child ready for school by teaching him how to dress himself, toilet himself, sit at a table and eat with a knife and fork, to say "please" and "thank you", to sit still and listen to what is said to him.
But, of course, this is what parents haven't got nowadays.
They have no time to talk to their baby, from the moment he's born, or teach him that human beings communicate by means of talking.
I despair when I see so many toddlers being wheeled about in their buggies with their mouths bunged up by large dummies so that they can't talk to their mother as they ride.
I wonder sometimes how many children actually learn to talk at all.
I realise that my plea to bring children up in what history has proved to be the best way will fall on deaf ears but, until we get back to the idea of doing what is best for the child, instead of what the parents wants, until we realise that child-rearing unfortunately requires a great deal of self-sacrifice on the part of the parents and that all children need a steady, reliable, close relationship with at least one adult to whom he is the most important person in the world, any amount of legislation, government decrees and parental hand-wringing will have no effect.