Skip to main content

Most parents are overwhelmed when first entering into parenthood. This can cause emotional frustration and financial worry. To relieve this emotional burden, all parents should receive paid maternity and paternity leave for the first two years of their children’s lives. By providing this supplementation to a family’s income, a government acknowledges, and honors, the important role of parenting in the lives of its citizenry.

Parents who have the option to stay home, with pay, for the first two years of a child’s life, will be less worried about how to balance work and family.  Relieved of financial burden, parents can enjoy the first two years of their offspring’s life, focusing on affirming and building a bond of love, as well as developing crucial parenting skills.

With family as the focus, parents will value the multi-dimensional task of parenting.  Community resources and events, such as parenting classes, church and neighborhood support groups and library books can be used without difficulty since financial obligations have been relieved.  The frenzied American lifestyle is diminished, permitting parents and their children to implement a healthy balanced family life.  Life lessons they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

However, because not all new parents will come from stable income environments, allocations need to be made.  The state of California has offered the novel idea of “Put [ting] unemployed parents to work caring for their own children".  Currently, some state governments provide a welfare subsidy to those who have children, but no job, and include daycare provisions.  Why not pay the parents to stay home and raise their children until they are old enough to attend preschool?  This question and many more like it are being discussed in California and in other pro-parent and pro-children groups.  Since a federally funded child-care system has not taken root in our country yet, state governments must step-up and fill the need.  By states paying low-income parents to stay home and fulfill their parental responsibility to their children (with stipulations), parents can spotlight their children recognizing the benefits of this opportunity.  Providing parents a two-year window to construct a firm family foundation, their community participation can significantly increase.

Now, why a two-year window, why not one year or six years?  “Research on early brain development reveals that learning experiences introduced to children at an early age are directly linked to successful learning as children matures,” states the National Center of Education Statistics.  At age two, children can successfully begin preschool, learn, grow, and create while their parents work or attend school for job training.  Allowing parents the opportunity to stay home for two years gives parents the necessary time to successfully bond with their children yet also reminds them that children are their responsibility and a steady income and reliable work history will benefit them and their family.  Parents, in turn, may now yearn to regularly contribute to society through a variety of community activities.

Few countries have incorporated paid leave for new parents, yet those that have are seeing economic stability and social responsibility as the norm.  Scandinavian countries are reporting twenty year lows on birth rates, but since incorporating paid leave for new parents, have seen birth rates on an upswing.  “Countries with low [birth] rates increasingly have begun providing more generous payouts”, says Medical News Today.  This government support benefits both parents and country.

Meeting the financial need to new parents is crucial in building a healthy and responsible society.  Canada is another country that wants to begin supporting parents, instead of primarily funding a daycare/childcare business.  The Vanier Institute of the Family declares, “Parents need help with child care, whether they provide the care "at home" by themselves or require the help of others”.  This quote sums ups the feelings of most parents wherever they live.  Too, it is a statement that should be seriously considered by all nations.

Government provision of two years paid maternity and paternity leave enables new parents to create strong bonded relationships with their children during the first two years of life, jumpstarting healthy lifelong family relationships that beneficially impact society.  Though implementing a program for paid parental leave might take time to implement, the desire for such a program already exists.  Continually discussing with and repeatedly pestering state legislators will create the momentum required to form a national program.  Only have great feats in civil liberties been won by persistence and perseverance.


The above is an essay  I wrote for my English class.  Over the next few weeks and months I will be posting more in-depth blogs pertaining to why parents should receive pay the first two years of parenthood.  I welcome all feedback and links pertaining to this issue.

"the price of greatness is responsibility" ~ Winston Churchill

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of strongly encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We value diversity of opinions and perspectives. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. So we actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that undermine these goals. Thanks!