Swedish experiences of child care

March 7, 2011

The text – click here – of a recent presentation at a meeting of the European Network of Cities for the Family by Jonas Himmelstrand of Haro, a Sweidish parental organisation, includes the following – which summarises the presentation well:

The state and society needs to be neutral as to the form of child care arrangements that the family chooses. Otherwise there is a definite risk that the shared responsibility will lead to dominant state control of the child care arrangements, and leaving parents powerless as to choices for their children.

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“There’s so much more to being a woman than the job you do”

March 5, 2011

Click here for the full article from the Daily Mail. This includes the following:

Not so blessed is the tired mum who returns unwillingly to her mundane job on a production line simply because the family desperately needs her wage.

Indeed, just becauae both parents are out at work does not mean that they are happy about it.

More than just early years

February 12, 2011

This from Children & Young People Now – an organisation that brings together people working with children and young people – says, “…it is dangerous to think of early years as the be-all and end-all”.

Full Time Mothers – and others – have, in good faith, pushed for more recognition for the importance of the young children (Early Years)  – meaning that we want to help mothers and fathers have the choice to look after their children as it’s such an important time.

 BUT – and huge BUT here Read the rest of this entry »

Maternal Employment, Work Schedules, and Children’s Body Mass Index

February 7, 2011

Nothing too surprising in this research, finding that an increase in the total time a mother is employed is associated with a fatter child. If there is no meal on the table then the teeanagers will graze; and if there is little time to cook then mothers resort to ready meals and junk food and do not have time to argue about healthy eating.

Abolishing child poverty could mean more non-parental child care

February 5, 2011

Reaching ‘across-the-aisle’, the coalition government asked Frank Field – a Labour MP and an FTM AGM speaker – to look at tackling child poverty. Click here for more on his final report.

This – and other coalition thinking on Early Years – seem to recommend making children more ‘school ready’. This often mean smore formal ‘education’, meaning more formal care arrangements for the first three years of a child’s life.

This ignores causes of child poverty such as family breakdown; and few jobs that enable a single wage-earner to support children and the other parent as full-time care-giver.

School league tables for five-year olds

January 24, 2011

This recent government proposal and the opposition to it might seem tangential to FTM but…

How will schools ‘improve’  their school rating? There will be increased pressure for children to be ‘school ready’  and this, for them,  means following the Early Years Foundation Stage from birth to five years old. This will mean formalising the early years and encouraging the under fives to be in nursery age two, prior to reception class.

This suggests that the coalition government does not value home-based care and family life as the best foundation for the early years. Educational ‘experts’ often believe that formal education for the little ones is the only way forward. They are wrong.

“What Babies Need Parents to Know” conference

January 23, 2011

The annual national conference of “What About The Children?”, a charity that focusses on the emotional needs of under threes and that has much common ground with Full Time Mothers, is taking place on 8 March. Click here for more.

Do women really want to marry for money?

January 6, 2011

Click here for a Daily Telegraph story based on research from Catherine Hakim, a former FTM AGM speaker, and a researcher at the London School of Economics.

Women can’t have it all: Female academic says those with top jobs only end up with ‘nominal families’

December 20, 2010

Click here for a news item on a report by Catherine Hakim, a former FTM AGM speaker.

Snow politics and spending time with your children

December 3, 2010

The following was sent to us by a member:

Does anyone else find that snow clearly highlights the differences between us as regards to the value of spending time with children?

Some people want children to go to school come what may,  so as not to miss a single lesson  (how awful that would be to miss a few formal lessons!!!  – they’d probably be sitting on their bottoms on a hard floor being ‘minded’ anyway as the teacher probably hasn’t been able to make it;   yes they might enjoy snowball fights with their mates,  but don’t they have friends in the neighbourhood at home too?).

Others are content to stay at home and enjoy the beautiful conditions (yes it’s a pain after a while,  but how exciting for the children).

Some couples fall out as to who should stay at home and who should struggle to work. Other couples, who have already organised their lives so that one person takes care of the children, can feel happy they don’t have these domestic conflicts!

I have to ‘shut up’  today  (our first snow day) as I clearly don’t have the same views as the majority of the people in my street!!! – eg, comments I have heard:

Why should I be the one who stays at home with the kids?

Why is his job more important than mine?

What do they (the bus companies) expect us to do exactly?

It’s ridiculous to close the school until mid-day!

Moan moan moan…..Off to play snowballs now!