Monday, June 11, 2007

To work or not to work?

Just read an article about how by the age of 3 children from disadvantaged (is that now the polite way of saying poor?) backgrounds are a year behind those from middle-class (and mostly white) families in terms of language and other pre-school development. Sad, if not very surprising. But what is especially noteworthy is the following:

72% of children with a single mother (of 15,500 children) are living below the poverty line (under 60% average national income). And, both children from Scotland and middle-class children are doing better than their peers and in both groups they are more likely to have working mothers, and therefore have more out-of-home care.

It is quite clear then that families with single mothers need extra help on several fronts, as 72% poverty is shockingly high. But also, I have to re-assess my opinion of the pressure put on single mums to go out and work. I always thought that perhaps this was not in the child’s best interest, that it might be better to have mum at home spending more time with them then out working and the kids at nursery. Apparently not.

Also nice for once to read something that doesn’t make working mothers feel guilty but in fact suggests we are doing the right thing for our children. Unless of course you remember the research that says children who spend more time in nursery are more disruptive at primary school. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.



At 8:46 pm, Blogger sarah said...

no wonder us mum's don't know what to do for the best!

At 2:07 pm, Anonymous Saulo said...

Hi Rebecca,
have found your blog when surfing for info on north Mozambique. We are a brazilian family living in France. we will spend a couple of weeks in the north of Mozambique, in the north. We also have 2 kids, 2 girls, who will in fact stay with the grand parents in Brazil. We are particularly interested on the project with the communities in IBO, that we had read in the Kaskazini and meeting people. would love if you could get in touch and give us some tips.
Obrigado, abraços brasileiros
Saulo e Adriana


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