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Time for Parenting...

...because raising children is a full-time job

September 1999 Newsletter

From The Chair; Mothers feel undervalued; Educare = Daycare + Education; Back to work at 12 months; Full Time Mothers AGM and Open Meeting; "Supporting Families": the response; New members write .....; Farewell to the Family?; Your letters

Back to work at 12 months

As this newsletter goes to press, the childcare debate has been re-opened in the media by the announcement that ex-Social Security minister Harriet Harman is putting the case for 'baby tax credits' for women with babies under I year old. This suggestion is based on research by Professor Heather Joshi of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies which claims that children whose mothers return to work before they are a year old perform poorly in reading tests later. Professor Joshi does not offer reasons for this finding, but does say that babies whose mothers return to work- after that year develop better social skills than those whose mothers continue to care for them.

The claim is therefore made that non-maternal care has little impact on the child's development provided it does not start too soon. Supporters will argue that 12 month post-natal maternity leave will make life better for working mothers and their babies. FTM believes that this claim will now be advanced to support the argument that mothers can confidently place their babies in daycare at 12 months.

There are echoes here of the New Deal for Lone Parents (which requires single mothers to go for job interviews when their children reach school age). Will it now be advocated that the magic age is not five but one?