I have done a few interviews this past week regarding Grandparents babysitting their grandchildren and the strain it can place upon them. I have attached an article below from Seniors Magazine reflecting this.
Yes there are times parents need the Grandparents to assist them out with childcare however when did the responsibility leave the parent to care for their own children. When we decide to become a parent we must accept the change this means to our life socially, financially and in our careers. It is a decision the parents have made to have a child.
In Australia we are heavily subsidised in childcare or as it should be called Early Childhood Education. The push the government has made to ensure all children have access to early education will hopefully bring us more into line with the progressive countries in Scandinavia and Europe where between 90% – 100% of children attend early education prior to school.
The push is now on for the community to pay grandparents to look after their grandchildren. If this was to be subsidised I ask should they also then provide the level of early education we are subsidising now – will they need a Working with Children check, a first aid certificate, a min Certificate III in childcare, undertake assessments, prepare a program, undertake follow on activities, link these to the Early Year Learning Framework, have their property checked for safety as children are being cared for.
All this is required by family daycare mums being paid to look after children and childcare centres. To now call for government subsidy payment for grandparents, do we expect the same quality of care and education?
Grandparents usually look after their grandchildren out of love and to help their own children out.
This then gets back to my earlier point – are couples giving sufficient consideration to the financial cost of having a child if they wish to return to work after becoming parents?
We have incredible subsidies in our childcare system however we do need subsidies paid to care for children if parents work late or weekends where little to no childcare is offered. This is where we fall down dreadfully for families. Gone are the normal 9 – 5 weekday jobs, many people now work longer hours and weekends particularly if in the hospitality, transport or medical industries. Perhaps this is where subsidies need to go for parents rather than paid to grandparents caring for their grandchild during the weekday or after school.
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