Mums should be paid for staying at home: Report

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London, Apr 21 : All mothers should be given 60 pounds as allowance for staying at home and raising their offspring, suggests a new report.

According to the report released, most mothers were willing to work either part-time or not at all while their children were under five, but were prevented from doing so because state help for families had been channelled into tax credits.

The report, titled 'Little Britons' said that the parents should be paid 60 pounds per young child per week that could be spent on childcare.

It also said that billions of pounds of taxpayers' money have been wasted on formal childcare when parents preferred to look after their child at home.

"Support for families in the first three years is still a neglected area of policy," Telegraph quoted Maria Miller, the shadow family minister, as saying.

"Great strides have been made in some areas but many women are still feeling they have got really little choice in how they structure their family's life," she added.

The facts stated in the report showed that labour has spent 17 billion pounds on services for young children in the past decade in an effort to encourage mothers back into work.

Moreover, British parents also paid 70 per cent of their child care costs compared with a European average of 30 per cent.

Almost 60 per cent of the parents admitted that they never used any formal provision for children up to the age of 14. Even working mothers chose childminders and nannies almost as often as nurseries.

"Numerous studies into parental values regarding child care have revealed a much greater diversity of parental preferences than the Government would like to believe," said Catherine Hakim, report's authors, of the London School of Economics.

"One study showed that, in an ideal world, only one third of mothers in Britain would use any child care at all before their child's third birthday," she added.

The report also condemned government's 3.1 billion pounds 'Sure Start' programme to improve services for deprived families with young children.

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "We have opened up choices, not narrowed them, making child care available to parents who would not have been able to access it before - through Children's Centres and by making child care more affordable through the tax credit system."

ANI

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