French moms aren’t superior parents—they just have it easier

(…) Before latching onto the next do-it-like-the-French checklist, we should acknowledge the following:

  • French women get paid to have babies. Unlike in the US, new mothers don’t have to take unpaid disability leave to have their kids. They get 16 full weeks of paid leave for the first and second child, and 26 for the third. They also get a government allowance for having kids based on their income, including supplements if they want to go part-time or hire a nanny.
  • French women get affordable and available childcare. Women can take their babies to a crèche, or high-quality day care center, from about six weeks of age (granted, there are often waiting lists), which helps mothers to go back to work. Families pay on a sliding scale based on income and the centers are highly regulated with national standards. And, perhaps most importantly, the staff are well-paid and have very low turnover, unlike in the US, where child care is treated like the wild wild west.
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LU SUR LE NET – Parents pay extra to find child care in the right place at the right time

img_4915Claudia Grossmann started searching for day care soon after she became pregnant. The Mount Pleasant mother-to-be put her name on a half-dozen wait lists and regularly checked in with her top choice: a nationally accredited center in her neighborhood with a dual-language program. The wait list was long, but one August day, she got a call. A spot was available starting the next month. Only catch: Her baby was not yet born. Lire la suite

LU SUR LE NET – Au pairs provide cheap childcare. Maybe illegally cheap.

babysittingA class action lawsuit alleges that au pair agencies failed to obey state minimum wage laws, keeping their pay at $4.35 an hour.

When Johana Paola Beltran graduated from high school in Bogota, Colombia, she learned about a program that would send her to the United States to become an au pair — a live-in nanny. An au pair sponsor agency, InterExchange, sold her on the idea that she would be learning about a new culture and matched her with a family in Highlands Ranch, a posh suburb of Denver. She was excited: The host family’s house had a gym; she would have access to a car; and she planned to take classes and improve her English. It even seemed worth paying out of pocket for the whole process: a $2,500 fee. Lire la suite

Faire garder ses enfants aux Etats-Unis

babysittingCeci est un gros poste de dépenses pour les parents mais il vaut mieux investir dans une bonne nounou qui pourra rester un bon bout de temps avec vous. Comme toujours, bouche à oreille. Le réseau francophone d’entraide et d’annonces « mamans autour de DC » une vraie mine d’informations. Lire la suite

Obama veut rendre la garde d’enfant plus accessible et plus abordable

12Barack Obama a, dans son discours sur l’état de l’Union, mardi 20 janvier 2015, parlé de la nécessité d’avoir un programme de garderies universel. « Des familles paient plus cher pour la garde de leurs enfants que pour leur hypothèque », a-t-il lancé.Il a ainsi dévoilé une série de mesures visant à promouvoir les conditions de la classe moyenne, notamment la mise en place d’une réforme fiscale qui abaisserait les impôts pour la plupart des ménages américaines  ainsi qu’une nouvelle aide fiscale de 3.000 dollars par enfant annuellement.

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