Monday, April 2, 2012

The financial cost of replacing a mother

Thankfully Nanny McPhee isn't at our place! 
Two days a week we have a nanny (I guess that's what you call her - we just call her Beck!).  She picks up the kids from school and brings them home.  Helps them with homework, home readers.  Keeps them safe while they hang out at home.  We decided to go down this path with childcare because we didn't want to leave them in after school care and with so many children it ended up costing just a bit more than putting them in childcare.  I really wanted the kids to be able to relax at home and get some things done, rather than staying at school for longer and having to negotiate more relationships in the school yard.  That's just us - and I have pretty introverted kids who need lots of down time.

But would I like to claim the childcare subsidy that I'd get if they were in after school care?  Sure!  Absolutely.  It would be a lot cheaper.  Last week the opposition leader has suggested he'd introduce a subsidy for people who are doing what we're doing.  Nice.  But after costing it, it's going to cost $500 million in the first year, so this is unlikely to ever happen.

What it did make me think about, is how much money I have saved the government over the years by not putting my children in childcare.  I'm a valuable commodity.  It is quite pricey to replace my services.

I wish someone would do a costing on that.  Why doesn't someone do a cost estimate on the value of all the mums who stay at home and look after their own kids?  I spent all those years at home with my kids, truly believing in my heart that it was the right thing to do, but rarely actually feeling affirmed by the powers that be that I was on the right track.  I didn't do it for affirmation, but it's hard going living in a society that doesn't seem to think it matters all that much whether or not kids are cared for by their parents.

End of rant ...


2 comments:

Heather said...

Your value is priceless Jenny!
I've been spending time with young children with behaviour and social issues. I've just (mentally) increased my value as a parent for all the teachers' aides and specialist interventions I saved the government. My son is very far from perfect, but he could have been a whole lot worse!

Sandra said...

I saved the government lots of money being an unpaid carer. We earnt too much money to get any carers allowance except for during the 'last 3 months of the person's life'. Since we weren't really sure how to work that out we just didn't bother - the prospect of explaining to Centrelink why they hadn't died in the allotted time seemed too hard.