FAMILY POLICY: by Patrick J. ByrneNews Weekly
Voters demand equality in childcare maternity payments
, March 6, 2010
Overwhelmingly, Australians want childcare payments made to all families, and they want all mothers to receive the same amount from the government whey they have a child.
Currently, childcare payments are paid only to women with paid jobs who put their children in childcare centres; childcare payments discriminate heavily against mothers who raise their children at home.
Furthermore, as of 2011, women already in paid work who take leave to have a child will receive from government coffers 50 per cent more in paid parental leave than will stay-at-home mothers.
Two recent telephone surveys, each of 500 people, by the Brisbane-based Kids First project, found that Australians want stay-at-home mothers treated equally with those in the paid workforce.
The first survey, conducted in the Brisbane federal seat of Ryan, found that:
• 71 per cent want government funding for the costs of children's care to be the same amount per child, whether the child is being cared for at home or in a daycare centre; and
• 77 per cent believed that all mothers should receive the same amount from the government when they had a child, regardless of whether they were stay-at-home mothers or in the paid workforce.
The second survey, in Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's electorate of Griffith, found that:
• 63 per cent of residents believed that the cost of children's care should be the same per child, whether the child is being cared for at home by a parent or in a daycare centre; and
• 68 per cent believed that all mothers should receive the same payment on having a baby, regardless of whether the mothers were full-time home-carers or in the paid workforce.
Clearly, government policies that discriminate against stay-at-home carers are at serious odds with the equality that Australians demand between full-time homemakers and mothers in the paid workforce.