There is a sad and alarming piece of research out today showing the number of children who have trouble learning to talk (four per cent haven't said a word by age three). As usual, TV gets the blame: but more explicitly than usual, so do working parents.
Jean Gross, the government's communication champion who oversaw the research, is quoted saying parents should 'think about what children need. It's not expensive toys and big houses. It's you.' - ie, they should work less.
That follows an interview in the Sunday Telegraph with the brilliant GP Dr Sarah Jarvis in which she is quoted blaming obesity in kids partly on working parents who are 'so knackered at the weekend they let their children stay in front of the television' instead of going to the park. Suddenly, it feels like working parents are in the dock for everything.
This is a tricky one for me. After all, I gave up fulltime work because I wanted to be with my own son more: I wasn't worried about his development (he had a brilliant nanny before) but obviously I hope me being around will have a positive effect. And yet this stuff makes me uncomfortable.
Is it really only working mothers (or their childminders/nannies/whoever) who ever park kids in front of the TV instead of reading to them or going to the park? Really?
Telly and sugar happen to be the two things I am fascist about: I just don't watch TV with my son unless he's too ill to get off the sofa, or unless we're at someone else's house and their kids are watching.
But I admit that was easier to stick to when I was working: I'm definitely more tempted by CBeebies now, with only so many ways to fill a long rainy day.
Before, I was always incredibly conscious of needing to do lots of stimulating, educational, virtuous things with my son in my spare time: it was a way of compensating for my absence. Probably overcompensating, if I'm honest: I am a more relaxed, less driven parent now and we are both happier for it. I suspect I'm not alone in that.
So is there any hard evidence that working mothers threaten their children's development?
Well, not in the survey published yesterday, there isn't: it's a YouGov poll of 1,000 parents and it doesn't even record which of them worked.
Admittedly there was a recent study from the Institute of Child Health, suggesting that working mothers' children watched more TV and were more likely to be driven to school instead of walking.
But that was contradicted a few weeks later by a massive study from the Institute of Education arguing that working mums didn't really affect children's development: a stable home life mattered more.
Of course, Gross is an eminent educational psychologist, and presumably knows what she's talking about. She might also say she isn't blaming parents, but bad childcare - which is still too often the only kind some parents can find or afford.
Nonetheless, I feel uneasy about using this as yet another stick with which to beat working mothers - at least until we have clearer evidence.