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31 January 2013

We'll Just Have Two, Thanks

Everyone's talking about the new childcare subsides. I foresee that it's going to be the top topic of this year's Chinese New Year visits.

So we all know I'm not very good with numbers (apart from being able to calculate discounted sale prices rather quickly) so I won't bore anyone with details they already know. Basically, the new subsidies will allow lower-middle income families to place their children in childcare at a fraction of what they pay now, enabling mothers to go back to the workforce.

Now let's have a thought about this. I know many women who have chosen to stay home to take care of their kids. And some of these women who left reasonably high paying well-respected jobs. They left their jobs by choice, rather than the lack of. They chose to stay home with their kids to offer guidance in their early years, and to watch them grow.

I chose to leave my job that I loved so much, to care for Poppy because we knew from the start that infant care was not ever going to be an option for us. The idea of our 3 month-old being cared for by a stranger (sure, a qualified, medically trained one) who incidentally also needs to watch over 2-3 other babies, was not our idea of an ideal situation. We were hoping for a babysitter cos at least that was a one-on-one option but that didn't work out, so instead of rushing to infant care or get domestic help, I became it.

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