One of the hardest parts of my day is going to work. This isn’t because of work though. It’s the hardest part because I have to leave my daughter behind. Both my wife and I work meaning that at one point during the day we have to leave our daughter at day care. While this is a reasonable solution its not the best case scenario for my daughter. The best case scenario would be for both her parents to be with her full time. She loves us both and her happiest times are when she is with the two of us. This blog is about what society and the government should do for parents to create an optimum world.
My proposal is simple. When you are having a child you should be given two years paid parental care to look after your child full time without worrying about money or work. This may sound impossible but it’s not at all. The whole thing would need paper work of course to ensure that the child is getting the care the service is providing and not just paying a drunk or gambling addict a living in wage. There would need to be checks and measures the whole way through the process. Most importantly though there would need to be advance parental education and counseling throughout the process. During pregnancy or while awaiting the adoption papers future parent/s would sign up for the parental leave support network. They’d begin parental education and for the next two years be full time parent/s. After all we are already full time parents we should be recognised as such. This programme would need far more than the baby bonus or parental pay that is in use at the moment. Parent/s would need enough money so that feel comfortable but not enough to bring the government to its knees financially. This money would have to come from taxes but given what the tax is for I’m sure there wouldn’t be much to complaint about it.
Possible arguments against this policy; it would create professional parents; the sheer amount of money it would cost. it would destroy the day care industry; it would result in a population boom. Starting with the first argument I would say that this isn’t such a problem if they are good parents. After all, the reason for such a policy change would be to better educate and care for our children thus creating a better future. However, if this is really such an issue in getting this kind of policy through then it can be limited to the first two babies and everyone after that is on your own time and money. The second issue I have partly covered. Money can always be found. There are numerous ways enough money could be generated for this; have companies fund part of it; higher taxes; implement a mining tax, a fast food tax, commercial support, fundraising, funding cuts to the military, etc. The third issue with the policy isn’t really an issue. After all it is a small price to pay for a better world. People in those professions can still be utilised though. Parents would still need breaks. Day care would just turn into a few hours care. The need would still be there just the format would change. There would also need to be people to teach the parenting education modules so a new industry would arise. The final problem, that of the population boom. While it may create a temporary population boom the increase in focus on educating parents would eventually result in the population plateauing as educated people tend not to have so many children. People would want to do other things with their lives.
So that’s my proposal. A two year full time parental leave from work supported by the government and the people. It would improve our society in more ways than I can imagine.
- Regarding young children as an unfortunate interruption in the workings of a political economy radically disregards the building bricks through which a society is built (blogs.lse.ac.uk)
- Parents ‘to share childcare leave’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Sorry Catherine Deveny, being a parent is the most important job in the world. (worklifemum.wordpress.com)
- Childcare eating up nice per cent of families’ income despite subsidies (smh.com.au)