Published in The Independent 19th December 2013
A policy to keep families apart
Once again the Government wishes families to spend as little time together as possible. Liz Truss, the minister for education and childcare, announced her desire for schools to open 8am-6pm for the convenience of both working parents.
The modern living arrangements that she speaks of do not take into account the never-changing requirement of children for consistent loving care during their early years. Nor does it consider the desire for some families to work less or for one parent not to work at all for a short time while their children are young.
Mrs Truss expects children to have a longer working day than their parents, and as little opportunity for interaction with them as possible. Children are expected to cope with a reduced chance of chatting about their day’s joys and achievements or for parents to notice and nip in the bud a worry the child is developing.
The childcare required has not only a financial cost but also a social cost to the next generation. Reform taxation to reflect dependants, and let people make their own choices regarding work, home life and childcare with their own money. Family life is too precious to meddle with in this way.
Imogen Thompson, MAHM Committee Member