‘Pay mums who stay at home’

Sunday Star Times 18/04/2010

Being a stay-at-home parent is “not a luxury” and they should be given the same subsidy as early childhood education centres under the 20 free hours scheme, a lobby group says. A survey commissioned by Family First and carried out last month by Curia Market Research found that half of the 1000 people surveyed supported subsidies being extended to parents who stay at home. The survey asked randomly selected people four questions, including:
Whether they were concerned about the language and violence shown on TV before 8.30pm – they found 65% were;
Whether schools should teach abstinence as a part of sex education – 68% agreed they should;
And if parents should be informed if their underage daughter wants an abortion – 79% believed they should be informed.

The questions were all matters of interest for Family First – a conservative lobby group which pushes for “strong families and safer communities”. The 20 free hours scheme was brought in by the Labour government in 2006 and allows families with three and four-year-old children to apply for the free hours at an approved provider. In the survey, 51% of respondents said stay-at-home parents should be given a similar subsidy if they chose not to put their children into childcare – 39% did not agree with the idea, and 10% said they did not know.