WEL believes major changes are needed in the provision of adequate and affordable child care:-
Centres and Services should get a proportion of an agreed budget directly from Government with certain conditions as follows:-
* agreeing to peg fees at an acceptable level
* trained and qualified staff
* demonstrated demand for services
* income tested supplement for parents.
The evidence suggests that funding parents results in higher fees. When demand outstrips supply, the usual restraints and competition in the market do not occur so we need to consider alternative strategies. Centres to be funded must involve parents and link with health and other education services. See members’ views on Child Care and Pre-School Education in the Discussion Forum under News and Events.
Child care is of major importance in the push to get women into the workforce.
WEL National Policy on Child Care can be found in the section of “About WEL”.
A 2011 report “Fathering in Australia among couple families with children” shows that fathers still spend much less time than mothers on domestic work and child care.
“Juggling Work and Families”
The Sun-Herald reports that modern mums bear the brunt of work-life stress because men are still not pulling their weight with the housework. While mums increasingly juggle work and family, fathers are still not doing their fair share of household chores.
Worn-out working mums are more likely than dads to suffer work-family tensions, said an article in the Australian Institute of Family Studies journal Family Matters. The paper, “Persistent work-family strain among Australian mothers“, said almost 30 per cent of working mums experienced “strong tension” between work and family responsibilities.” Australian mothers in recent decades have greatly increased participation in the labour market. Fathers have not increased their unpaid household work to a matching degree,” it reported. “But without equal sharing … mothers will inevitably feel the work-family tension more keenly.”
Mums are likely to have the toughest time managing the balancing act when the youngest child is aged between six and 11. A Melbourne University study found 66 per cent of women believed they did more than their share of the housework.
Tax Deductions for Child Care
Parents must be able to claim childcare – including nannies – as a tax deduction if Australia is to increase the number of women in the workforce. That is the directive from a coalition of high-ranking female executives pushing the federal government for changes they say are needed to lift the numbers of women in paid employment and their ability to seek promotion. Sydney Morning Herald, 24 Sept. 2011.