Basic child allowance

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tigrolik
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:18 pm

Basic child allowance

Post by tigrolik » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:36 pm

Hello,

First of all, apologies if the topic has been already created, though I have not found it easily just yet.

Anyway, when a baby is born in Finland, then a parent (typically, the mother) gets the child allowance for the period when the baby is 8 months old. Please, correct me if the figures are wrong. And the amount is usually adequate.

However, after that period, there is a 'kotihoito' allowance or something like that and the amount of money for that is barely sufficient. If I got it right, the value is around 300 euros per month.

At the same time, many mothers would like not to give their children to the kindergarten until they are at least 2 year old. Also, many women would prefer to pursue their career, and that is good, no problem with that. But those women, who would prefer to be with their under 3 year old children all the time, are often forced to go back to work to get adequate amount of money, is that so?

There is a lot of information about upbringing of children, and many references that a child doesn't really need to be in a kindergarten until the age of three (or even four, depending on the source). Necessary amount of social interaction can be received via common playgrounds, clubs, friends, family etc.

Therefore, is there a possibility (Citizens’ intiative, Kansalaisaloite?) to offer women (or men too - parents, in general) a bigger allowance in order to devote more time (not 8 months, but say 24-36 months, and not 300 but 900-1200 euros) for their children if that helps in growing a happier society? Of course, not forcing women to stay home: if they want to go back to work, it is a noble thing and kindergartens would be happy to accept their babies.

Thank you in advance



Basic child allowance

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FinlandGirl
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Basic child allowance

Post by FinlandGirl » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:54 pm

tigrolik wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:36 pm
At the same time, many mothers would like not to give their children to the kindergarten until they are at least 2 year old. Also, many women would prefer to pursue their career, and that is good, no problem with that. But those women,
There is a strong trend in Europe to require parents to split the time 50:50, any suggestion that would in practice result in one partner not working for a longer time isn't a realistic option.
The fair option would be to offer one year of maternity leave plus one year of paternity leave.
tigrolik wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:36 pm
are often forced to go back to work to get adequate amount of money, is that so?
When you buy a house or apartment large enough to raise your children you need 2 full incomes for paying back the mortgage.
tigrolik wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:36 pm
Therefore, is there a possibility (Citizens’ intiative, Kansalaisaloite?) to offer women (or men too - parents, in general) a bigger allowance in order to devote more time (not 8 months, but say 24-36 months, and not 300 but 900-1200 euros) for their children if that helps in growing a happier society?
How much money would this cost and how do you plan to finance it?
With 2 children born 2 years apart this would be 5 years of paying the bigger allowance instead of receiving taxes.
My ballpark estimate would be that this would cost the government around 1 billion Euro per year.

5 years not working would also bring a high risk of poverty as pensioner.

It might not be popular that you want to pay Somali women for 30 years a big allowance for getting a child every 1-3 years and staying at home instead of getting some education and a job.
First child age 16 and the 20th child age 43 or older - this is what your proposal would achieve.
At age 50 she has no education, never worked, and her youngest 10 children are still living at home.
The 20th child has the same right to happiness as the 1st child.

tigrolik
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:18 pm

Re: Basic child allowance

Post by tigrolik » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:07 pm

The option to offer one year of maternity leave plus one year of paternity leave is a nice one, indeed. Well, maybe I have asked for too much, maybe 18 months would suffice... (9 + 9 or 12 for mother + 6 for father).

The issue with non-working parents, Somali or not: what stops them from no doing any work in the first place?
An unemployed person gets more money than a mother/father staying at home, caring about their child.
The first one is doing nothing, the second is devoting their time to raise a new, possibly better version of themselves.

FinlandGirl
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Basic child allowance

Post by FinlandGirl » Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:02 pm

tigrolik wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:07 pm
The issue with non-working parents, Somali or not: what stops them from no doing any work in the first place?
The government is trying hard that everyone gets a proper education and a job.
tigrolik wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:07 pm
The first one is doing nothing, the second is devoting their time to raise a new, possibly better version of themselves.
The third one is working and paying taxes and have professional kindergarten teachers take care of their children.

The Finnish way is that parents do not stay at home too long.
The Finnish way is that it is better for a child to be part of a larger group of children early.
Among non-immigrant Finnish women there is not a huge desire to skip many years during the time when the rest of your career is decided.
tigrolik wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:07 pm
Well, maybe I have asked for too much, maybe 18 months would suffice... (9 + 9 or 12 for mother + 6 for father).
Please stop thinking that mothers should stay at home longer than fathers, there is no reason for that.
Any change in parental leave would move towards a stronger 50:50 distribution between mother and father.
The next expected change to parental leave is that the part that can currently be freely distributed between the parents will get a fixed equal distribution between mother and father.

tigrolik
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:18 pm

Re: Basic child allowance

Post by tigrolik » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:17 am

FinlandGirl wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:02 pm
The Finnish way is that it is better for a child to be part of a larger group of children early.
That's fine, but I have met two Finnish women and men and one lady who I know well personally (she is Finnish and has Finnish parents and Finnish husband and he has Finnish parents). And the first two ladies said they do not want to give their babies to the kindergarten and the acquaintance told me she stayed at home until her child reached age of five and only then the child went to the kindergarten. The second child she has stayed at home till the age of three, if I remember correctly. The reason for staying home with her children was that her husband earns enough to afford. What I mean, that they (as parents) have had a choice, and not all parents do.

Now, first of all, of course, the number of parents I have asked is too little to make any significant country-wise conclusion.
Secondly, that happens in South Karelia and, I believe, the "Finnish way" might differ from region to region. Most likely, in Helsinki it is quite different due to being a big active city.
FinlandGirl wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:02 pm
Please stop thinking that mothers should stay at home longer than fathers, there is no reason for that.
Oh, yeah, I would happily stay with our baby at home and let my wife work. And, I trust, many other men would do the same. However, the World Health Organization highly recommends to breast feed babies until the age of two. That organization is very respectful and in the hospital they recommend to breast feed the babies. Being a man, it is impossible to breast feed the baby. The only way is if the mother uses a pump machine to get her milk into the bottle, but that would work for short time. In the first months the babies need a lot of breast feeding and mothers could work only part time. Maybe, at the age of 4-6 months it would be possible to get enough milk to give to the baby 2-3 times while the mother is working. I am all pro for that solution if the parents agree that the father stays home and mother goes to work.
But if mother wants to stay home (as in case with parents I have talked to), she will do that anyway, even at a risk of shorter money. The government will not let them starve to death, I presume. But they will not be very happy.

Please, don't think I am forcing women to stay home or breast feed the babies. I am talking only from own experience and what I have heard from others. And parents (non-foreign) say they prefer to wait for their babies to be at least two year old before entering the kindergarten. From the discussions the idea was that they feel that their babies are happier if they stay with parents most of the time until the age of two (with occasional visits to playgrounds, clubs, friends, family, but that happens when parents are around too).
Some parents even get another baby on the way so that they could stay again at home with two kids or more.

If a woman chooses not to breast feed, she has a right to do so, and I won't say a thing. There is no right or wrong decision, there is a only a decision and each decision has its consequences. If she wants to work, no one is stopping her. If a man stays at home to take care of the child, that is another decision and that has happened in Finland already many times.

If there is no plan/chance to get a raise for kotihoidontuki, then be it. That was the main question for this topic, not about who stays home longer. Father or mother or both, the goal is to raise a healthy, happy child and, in a long run, happier society. And I used to believe that Finland is a good choice for that. But what I have read in the news recently, tells that there are many divorces (around 25%) among parents with a first small child (due to tiredness, lack of common time, haste and quarrels).

FinlandGirl
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Basic child allowance

Post by FinlandGirl » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:19 pm

tigrolik wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:17 am
However, the World Health Organization highly recommends to breast feed babies until the age of two.
The World Health Organization recommends to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months.
tigrolik wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:17 am
If a woman chooses not to breast feed, she has a right to do so, and I won't say a thing. There is no right or wrong decision, there is a only a decision and each decision has its consequences.
You are saying that a woman who does not breast feed is a bad mother with bad consequences for her children.
Breast feeding is most important in countries where the alternatives are not clean and safe, in Finland the benefits are marginal.

tigrolik
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:18 pm

Re: Basic child allowance

Post by tigrolik » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:15 am

FinlandGirl wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:19 pm
You are saying that a woman who does not breast feed is a bad mother with bad consequences for her children.
Ehm... what? I have never said that, please do not judge too quickly, that way leads to wrong conclusions. I merely stated that each decision leads to different consequences. There are happy successful people who were either breast or bottle fed. There are also no good or bad people: we are billions and it is always possible to find a person who will think I am bad and a person who will think I am good, making me neither. The same is true for any person. I never think bad about anyone, because it is impossible to know all about the person and what makes her/him to take one decision or another. But we digress from the original question.

chickensexer
Posts: 1249
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: Basic child allowance

Post by chickensexer » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:54 pm

Good thought, in my opinion. But only in theory. In practice, Finland simply can not afford to even begin thinking about implementing something like that, no matter how dire is the birth rate drop. In Estonia, for example, they parental benefit is 1,5 years of 100% pre-birth income, and reverse of their birth rate decline trend is truly remarkable. However, Estonia has a very different landscape of social benefits to other segments of society, hence the difference in what they are able to carve out for supporting parents.


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