Advanced search

Am I being unreasonable to think that the Government's policy to make mums go back to work is misguided?

(234 Posts)
mountaingoat Tue 23-Jun-15 23:32:37

Just interested in what mumsnetters think about this one. I've been a working mum and a SAHM so I have no axe to grind either way. It just strikes me that:
if mums want/ need to go back to work then they should be given every opportunity to do so. But, why should it be a policy that mums must go back to work? Why is it better for mums to go back to work? Surely it is just a matter of choice?
I would guess that Messrs Cameron and Osborne have (a) rarely spent a day looking after babies and pre-school age children and certainly not for months or years on end 24/7 - and actually have no idea what is involved; and (b) their experience of childcare for their own children is probably highly paid and qualified nannies or very smart nurseries. My kids have all been through nursery and there are wonderful nurseries out there. but there are also nurseries which are mediocre, and if there is a quick, ill thought out expansion of childcare provision, there will be more mediocre nurseries out there for sure. Why is it better for a mum of pre-school age children to leave them in a nursery with a crowd of other toddlers being looked after by a teenager with an NVQ2 in childcare, than to stay at home and look after her own children until they do go to school?
I don't want this to turn into a wm v sahm thread (yawn)
also, I'm talking about situations where one parent is working to pay for the family and the other parent is staying at home to do the childcare. Not talking about families where no-one is working and they are expecting to stay at home with the kids and for the state to fund it (think these people mainly exist only in the minds of Daily MAil journalists anyway)

AnyoneForTennis Tue 23-Jun-15 23:36:30

Which policy? Where?

Suefla62 Tue 23-Jun-15 23:42:04

I don't think that Mums should be forced to go back to work. However, I don't think that they should be paid not too. If they can afford to stay home, then great. But to be given benefits just because they've chosen to have children - no.

WorraLiberty Tue 23-Jun-15 23:48:13

I'm not sure I follow?

I've been a SAHM for donkey's years. My DH works and no-one from the government has every tried to make me go back to work confused

mountaingoat Tue 23-Jun-15 23:49:24

I totally agree - absolutely shouldn't be paid to stay at home. But why all the emphasis about putting policies in place (e.g. increased free nursery hours) to encourage parents (mums) back to work. Why encourage parents of young babies and pre-schoolers to go back to work? As I said, yes we must facilitate it for those who want/ need to work, but equally don't make that the aim or the norm. It should be a free choice for those who want to stay at home and raise their own children or those who need or want to go to work and use childcare

LittleBearPad Tue 23-Jun-15 23:53:31

It is a free choice. The additional hours will help those who want to use them with childcare costs. No one has to use them if they don't want to.

At a tangible simplistic economic level the more people working the better. Lots of reasons on an individual basis where this won't be the case.

AnyoneForTennis Tue 23-Jun-15 23:54:55

So how would a lone parent have the choice to stay at home?

UglyBugaz Tue 23-Jun-15 23:54:57

I agree with sue.
just to add nurserys are good for the child too, so they can learn to socialise with others.

enviousllama Wed 24-Jun-15 00:13:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WorraLiberty Wed 24-Jun-15 00:25:17

just to add nurserys are good for the child too, so they can learn to socialise with others.

But 'the child' is an individual and the quality of nursery provision can vary massively from area to area.

It's good for some children and not so good for others. Plus, kids who don't attend nursery can still socialise in other ways.

LogonMounstuart Wed 24-Jun-15 06:40:19

Because if they work they contribute to the economy. EY education benefits the child and society. The evidence for that is strong hence Labour's investment in EY education. It makes sense to incentivise work, no reason beyond a political one to incentivise people not to work.

Pico2 Wed 24-Jun-15 06:47:05

I think that the key issue is choice. I know women who don't work because their income wouldn't cover childcare - particularly when they have two children under school age. Additional free childcare will give these women that choice.

HazleNutt Wed 24-Jun-15 06:47:05

guess it depends on how you look at it - encouraging/forcing or simply helping.

MrsNextDoor Wed 24-Jun-15 06:52:09

What gets me is that lone parents have no choice whatsoever. Once their child reaches 2....they must go back to work.

There is something...wrong in that. Why should women who have a partner be the only ones with a choice?

I think they should do what one MNr suggested and give everyone the same amount which would cover either childcare or staying at home.

MrsNextDoor Wed 24-Jun-15 06:53:41

Pico and that's a really positive thing but what about lone parents? Now that they have free childcare they also have jobseekers allowance once the child hits they can be sanctioned if they can't find work which fits in with their childs life.

JassyRadlett Wed 24-Jun-15 06:53:44

Why encourage parents of young babies and pre-schoolers to go back to work?

Because there is good evidence that many wanted to work but the cost of childcare was prohibitive?

More hours changes nothing for those who want to SAH, but make a big difference for those who want to work.

MrsNextDoor Wed 24-Jun-15 06:54:45

Jassy it does make a difference to lone parents for the reasons I outlined.

PtolemysNeedle Wed 24-Jun-15 06:58:21

The government isn't saying that anyone must go back to work. It is a choice, it's just not a choice that matters so much it's worth the taxpayer paying for it. It's a luxury choice, that should be paid for by the only people it affects or benefits.

I think it's right that the government encourages people to go back to work because it's better for the economy and it's better for women in ensuring that if they become single parents (not an unusual situation) then they are better placed to support themselves inseated of relying on the state.

Nolim Wed 24-Jun-15 06:58:25

I think that having policies that make it easier for parents to work and forcing parents to work are diferent things.
As someone already say some parents would like to work but cannot afford to because of the cost of childcare. Helping those parents does not force parents who like to sah to continue doing what they are doing.

32percentcharged Wed 24-Jun-15 06:59:36

I don't really get you OP- there is no policy to force parents to work. If one parent is happy to work and support the other then what's the problem?

The policy about widening chikdcare availability and affordability is to broaden choice, not force people who can afford and wish to SAH back to work.

I have tbh I find the OP unbelievably sexist too... Why make it all about mothers? Children have two parents! It seems a bit illogical to point to David Cameron and George Osborne as examples of people who've probably never spent a day looking after their children, when in the same post you only talk about this as an issue about 'mums staying at home' With attitudes like that, it's hardly surprising that some men don't get a look in when it comes to being a hands on parent

MrsNextDoor Wed 24-Jun-15 07:03:31

Nobody is listening. If you're a lone parent this WILL force you back to work. Why should only women with a partner have the choice?

MrsNextDoor Wed 24-Jun-15 07:04:21

32Percent....yes children have two BIOLOGICAL parents. Many don't have a Father in their life.

BathtimeFunkster Wed 24-Jun-15 07:05:55

You're completely contradicting yourself.

You claim to want to "facilitate" women going back to work if they want to, and then you call policies that do just that "forcing" them to go back.

Nobody is being forced to do anything. People are free not to make use of childcare hours and do it themselves.

tobysmum77 Wed 24-Jun-15 07:07:29

Parents generally need to work to support their children now and in the future. And to pay into a pension to support themselves.

If one parent has time off they may find it hard to get back in/ need to take a massive paycut. This means less taxes for the government.

But if the above doesnt bother you then you can do what you like.


MrsNextDoor Wed 24-Jun-15 07:07:34


There. Is that loud enough??

Lone parents will be sanctioned once their child is old enough for nursery (2 years) and how will the parents cope during school holidays? Is there free childcare for them then??

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: