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NOW CLOSED If parents ruled the world…what would make it into your 'Mummyfesto'? Share your thoughts and win £200 Love2shop voucher

(205 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 28-Feb-13 12:21:22

To celebrate the launch of the new book, The Mummyfesto by Linda Green, we'd like to know what issues Mumsnetters would campaign for if parents were in charge.

Here's what the publishers of The Mummyfesto say: "Issues affecting and surrounding parents don't often come to the forefront of the political agenda - a recent survey by 23snaps revealed that 46% of parents don't think family issues get much attention from politicians. This is addressed in The Mummyfesto, a new book by Linda Green, in which three mums who campaign to save their local lollipop lady from redundancy discover that they are rather good at it."

So what would you like to see in world where parents are in charge? This can be anything from free childcare to Mumsnet replacing the House of Lords. We'd love to hear what you think - if parents ruled the world, how would we make it better? It could be something small and local or big and national, silly or deadly serious. Time to get creative!

Everyone who adds a comment to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £200 Love2shop voucher.

Thanks and good luck,


Sparklyboots Mon 04-Mar-13 01:01:40

I'd make childcare, education and social care the highest paid jobs in the public sector, on a par with top civil servants, MPs, doctors etc. Nursery nurses for example would start on about 35K. We'd invest in the best facilities and equipment, and it would be illegal to work more than 40 hrs a week in any of these roles. Our best universities and research institutions would regard child/ parent development, education and social/ health care the absolute centre of their research activity.

Educating people to be parents would be an extension of a well-developed personal and social education strand in the national curriculum, which would be privileged on the assumption that if people figure out their personal stuff they are able to manage themselves in a learning environment, making other traditional subjects easier and more efficient to teach. There would be a greater degree of flexibility in the school system, meaning that if you couldn't get on with learning in x style with x environment you could select to go to another class/ style/ pedagogical set up. The main focus of education would be the development of the ability to live well and happily, assuming that such capacities enable people to explore their potential to the full.

Parents would have access to parenting mentors and children would have access to a non-parental advocate. Like social services, except without the dodgy, high-case-load, low cultural capital, low public esteem undertones. Research, development, training, and resources would be spent on the care system so that it got to a point where being 'taken into care' was no longer associated with poor life outcomes and in fact the state was a model, rather than inattentive, underresourced and reluctant parent turning out generations where happy and successful adults are the exception rather than the rule.

That's assuming, of course, that we can't just throw out the whole of the capitalist patriarchy as requested upthread.

LuisGarcia Mon 04-Mar-13 01:16:18

Make two aisles in every supermarket cobbled

MrsKeithRichards Mon 04-Mar-13 10:23:52

A dumbwaiter lift thing in every house with stairs to prevent the ever growing trip hazard of stuff waiting to be taken up.

Gracelo Mon 04-Mar-13 10:54:34

I would turn maternity leave into parental leave. If fathers were as likely as mothers to take parental leave a common justification for discriminating against women of child-bearing age in the work place would become obsolete.
Also, I would stop high schools allowing students to leave campus at lunch time to go and buy lunch at supermarkets/fast food outlets. I'm sure there are some students who get some decent food but the majority of students I see in the shops at lunch time buy nothing but crisps, biscuits and fizzy drinks.

mrscog Mon 04-Mar-13 11:09:45

I would want it to become the norm for it to be equally as likely for a Dad to phone in asking to work from home/sudden leave required because their child is sick as Mums.

Also - I would like to see the government give up the fight over the occasional 1 week holiday in term time and focus their attention to serial truancy instead.

And yes bleugh to Mummyfesto!

SirBoobAlot Mon 04-Mar-13 11:51:17

Flexible maternity and paternity leave.

Children's clothing sections and changing rooms to be on the ground floor, rather than up in a poxy lift in every single shop.

Better access to the option to pump milk at work. Some places are fantastic, some are terrible - all have a legal responsibility to facilitate this, but many avoid it all together.

Changing rooms to be a separate room in places like shopping centers, rather than a fold down table in the disabled toilet.

More availability to 'bring your baby to work' in the early months. There's a fantastic image that I can't bloody find of a woman who I think worked for the UN, with her small baby in the sling. Obviously not saying this should be enforced, but the option should be there.

We are not a child focused society, and that is so very sad.

Salbertina Mon 04-Mar-13 13:02:59

Tax-exempt and subsidised childcare

Subsidised mothers helps at birth

Decent afterschool care at secondary age

Subsidised means-tested public transport for families/under 25s rather than universally free for pensioners who always benefit angry

pixi2 Mon 04-Mar-13 13:14:28


More flexible and family friendly working practices. New mummies can take young babies in a sling to work if they wish to return early.

Minimum of nine months maternity leave.

The right to work term time only until your youngest is 12 (I mean, what use is term time working until your child is 5?)

Career breaks for motherhood lasting 5yrs.

The right to discounted university fees if a parent wished to retrain.

All employers with over 500 employees required to offer on site crèche or fund a local crèche/nursery within a reasonable walking distance. I m not saying parents shouldn't pay for places, but the place of employment should offer a nursery place within a reasonable walking distance.

Parents can successfully work from home with their children around and complete admin tasks when they are tucked up in bed. Not every part if every job needs presentism. This really irritates me when I hear managers refusing to let staff complete tasks at home for no reason other than they want to 'see' them bring completed.

Full time school would not start until the year the child turns 7 and would be timetabled so parents can pick and choose their child's day. For instance, mornings may be strictly traditionally academic whilst the afternoons may be art, dance or sports. There would be prep hour at the end of the afternoon session for primary and two hours for secondary.

All schools would be 7-18 inclusive. The same science facilities available to all.

All schools would offer the same standard as private schools and pastoral care would ensure every child received a tailored education.

Terms run every four weeks with a week off unless it falls on Christmas/Easter ( I have not worked this out).

For those that work.....schools will be required to run a four week summer programme.

Parents have the right to take children out of school for up to 6weeks worth of holiday/family time as long as the children are not struggling academically. Only in exceptional circumstances could more than 2.5 weeks be taken at once. This introduces children to the idea of holiday allowance.

All children's centres would open tues-sat.

Loos and baby change would have to be put in every out of town industrial retail park.

Lots, lots more but dc are wanting attention now they have finished lunch.

Floweryhat Mon 04-Mar-13 13:47:40

Ban on all formula marketing (infant, follow-on, whatever)

Extend paid maternity leave to 12 months

Extend maternity leave in total so parents can share up to 18 months off (one taking the whole lot if they choose)

Extend paid paternity leave to 4 weeks and make it better paid

Tax deductible childcare

Make childcare ratios better for the youngest children . No more than 1:2 in nursery for under 1s, for example.

Open more milk banks -one in every hospital with a maternity unit. Make banked milk more widely avalable.

Make it illegal for children to be in a forward facing carseat before 2 years old.

Peer support services for infant feeding in every maternity unit

Extend the free fruit/veg for schools scheme to all primary aged children

Introduce childhood vaccinations for flu and chicken pox

Ensure all children eligible for FSM are offered a free breakfast club place and offer them a healthy breakfast (porridge/toast/cereal & fruit).

Lengthen the school day for KS2 by 30 mins and introduce 30 mins exercise every single day.

Re-open all childrens centres.

Invest heavily in any provision for under fives (inc baby massage etc). That's the age where the biggest difference can be made for a child's whole life.

Put income tax up to cover all of the above.

iwantavuvezela Mon 04-Mar-13 14:04:12

I know that part of this is tongue in cheeck, but I am uncomfortable with terms like mummyfesto - i think this is alienating to lots of people without children, and males - I also dont like cutesy type of names. So anyone in charge would make sure that they are called somthing that I can relate to!!! That would be first on my agenda.

I would like people to be in charge who are able to see the big picture, and I would hope that some of these people were parents. When campaigning on behalf of children and parents I am itnerested in education / survival of libraries / good pay for nurses and teachers / the environment.

loubielou31 Mon 04-Mar-13 14:29:46

That a family could actually live comfortably on one average wage and not need two in order to be able to pay a mortgage, warm the house, buy food and fill the car up with fuel.
The rise of women in the workplace did initially raise living standards but it does now seem that two incomes are required to even pay the basic bills, families that want one parent to be able to stay at home and raise their children themselves and not use child care make massive sacrifices, the main one for us is home ownership.

The follow up from that is that having discovered that you do need two salaries to afford to live; childcare options should be more flexible, high quality and affordable.

jellybeans Mon 04-Mar-13 14:58:10

Large increase in CB to allow parents to use towards childcare or staying home so there is a real choice. Respect for SAHPs. Allow lone parents to volunteer when it suits during school hours rather than be forced into jobs. Allowance for those who use public transport or couples who have one car.Transferable tax allowance. Get rid of private schools and have great schools for all.

More 24 hr NHS walk in centres. Scans etc avaliable at weekends/bank holidays.

jellybeans Mon 04-Mar-13 14:59:20

Oh I forgot, increas maternity leave to 12-18 months fully paid.

Ipp3 Mon 04-Mar-13 15:08:29

All schools, including nursery schools, to encourage a respectful, joyous, social and healthy food culture by serving proper meals of freshly cooked food and to serve it on proper plates and in proper bowls with proper cutlery, not those dreadful plastic prison trays.

Encourage active, outdoor play. Less emphasis on homework and performance targets. No homework till senior school. No targets for under six year olds.

Make vaccination compulsory for children.

Longer maternity leave.

More affordable child care.

BlissfullyIgnorant Mon 04-Mar-13 15:31:31

I would impose a ban on 'The Children's Menu' in all eateries. All menus would have to offer a child's portion of whatever is available on the main menu in a small selection of portion sizes; toddler, primary and junior. They would also be forced to have an alternative size seat in between high chair and adult chair - I can't stand to see little kids reaching up to a table top because they're too short for the seat & too old for a high chair!

Trills Mon 04-Mar-13 15:47:15

The banning of "mummy" as a prefix.

Mothers who are entrepreneurs are not mumpreneurs.

Mother who have blogs are not necessarily "mummy bloggers".

Trills Mon 04-Mar-13 15:49:59

I see it's already been said.

Because I can’t think of anything more patronising to women than a system where less than a quarter of our MPs are women.

Really? Nothing? Nothing at all? I clearly have a better imagination than you then.

Trills Mon 04-Mar-13 15:51:19

I do think that "not defining women by whether or not they have reproduced" is an important point though, and one that would benefit mothers (and women) in general.

Blu Mon 04-Mar-13 16:00:02

Some thought for the children of the world.The U.S and the EU working together on a non-negotiable set of international guidelines about how our goods are produced. No child labour, workers able to educate, feed, clothe and house their children, and live free of human rights abuse. (this could actually mean more manufacturing brought back into the UK)

Look at aid. Give it to families and communities and enable them to stand up to their governments, rather than giving it to governments who then keep the population disempowered.

Protect ALL British children. Make it a criminal, imprisonable offence to genitally mutilate your dd, and implement this rigorously. Start a helpline for girls who think they may be in danger of being taken abroad for the practice.

whattodoo Mon 04-Mar-13 16:24:42

Tax free childcare.

Affordable holidays in school hols.

A guaranteed 8 hr's uninterrupted sleep twice per week.

good education for all children.

More midwives and health visitors.

fuzzysnout Mon 04-Mar-13 16:35:55

Outlaw the casual sexism present in so many TV shows.
Pay to rise in line with inflation.
Doctors' practices to be large enough to be able to offer appointments to all within two days. Surgeries to provide their own out of hours care - ditto for vets. No postcode lotteries so patients everywhere have access to the correct treatment.
Laws preventing shops displaying toys as 'girls' or 'boys' toys.

Whirliwig72 Mon 04-Mar-13 16:38:51

Smoking in a home where children live to be made illegal.

ColinFirthsGirth Mon 04-Mar-13 17:14:09

I would increase the help available for SEN children and increase awareness of SEN issues amongst the public and teachers - especially the lesser known ones.

More childcare options of young secondary school children - no I don't want my 11 year old son to be at home on his own for that long.

I would like the government to respect the role of the mother alot more!

WildThong Mon 04-Mar-13 17:47:24

I don't want to come across as sounding entitled, but tax deductible child care, free education to Masters level or vocational training in trades, council run sports clubs to be operated like private businesses ( actually open when people want to use them), ban on so called 'children's menus', proper cycle lanes network everywhere, flexible working/ working from home to become the norm for parents instead of a privilege, proper dinner halls with decent food cooked on the premises ( no turkey twizzlers or similar swill ), Matrons back in hospital wards, less NHS managers with the savings from their salaries ring fenced back into the hospitals, no more outsourcing of cleaning and catering contracts in schools and hospitals, more specialist schools for those with ASN
And breath....

ATouchOfStuffing Mon 04-Mar-13 18:27:35

That pavements are as safe as roads in the snow. Some of us don't drive and pushing a buggy along a snow filled and potholed pavement with multiple rubbish sacks to swerve around and icy puddles to get some milk nearly killed me this year especially when you have to negotiate a deadly hill. Cars have airbags, we don't! Local Authorities must salt pavements while they do the roads.

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