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Old 04.11.2008, 11:15
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Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

Hi

From all the stuff I have read lately, it appears that the Swiss strongly encourage Mothers with small children to stay at home rather than place their child in daycare and go off to work. I think this is a fantastic concept, as the early years are crucial in a child's life, but I am wondering HOW they achieve this if the cost of living is as expensive as I am led to believe? I mean, do you get grocery coupons if you choose to stay home or cheaper transport fares? Do the government assist in any way for families with stay at home moms, and if there are programs designed to encourage the trend, then do they apply to non-Swiss people?
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:18
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

I don't think there are any programs that encourage it, at least none that I or my stay-at-home-mom wife are aware of.

The only encouragement is the significant increase in tax rate that occurs when both married partners work (AKA marriage penalty tax). Oh, and daycare is so friggin' expensive, it ain't worth it.

Meaning, if my wife would work, she'd make a certain amount of Swissies (that's CHF / Swiss Francs for the easily offended). And we'd have to spend that same amount to have both kids in daycare. To us, that ain't worth it. I'd rather have the kind of family I know from my own childhood.
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:20
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

There are tax advantages and also traditonally men have been paid higher salaries than women "because they have to support the family". The last part is slowly changing of course.

Personally I don't find the encuragement for women to stay at home great at all.
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:22
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

Yes, rather than encouragement I would say they are working with discouragement. I.e. women are discouraged to go out and work because of school schedules, tax disadvantages, expensive day care, tradition etc, etc.


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I don't think there are any programs that encourage it, at least none that I or my stay-at-home-mom wife are aware of.

The only encouragement is the significant increase in tax rate that occurs when both married partners work (AKA marriage penalty tax). Oh, and daycare is so friggin' expensive, it ain't worth it.

Meaning, if my wife would work, she'd make a certain amount of Swissies (that's CHF / Swiss Francs for the easily offended). And we'd have to spend that same amount to have both kids in daycare. To us, that ain't worth it. I'd rather have the kind of family I know from my own childhood.
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:25
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

Thanks for the input. I need to decide if I should spend the money applying for a work Visa, although I'd rather stay home, but if we can not afford to live on hubby's income, then I may have to, so it's a case of trying to make a decision when you have no actual facts at your fingertips (I have no idea what groceries will costs etc or what our minimum monthly expenses will be until we get there, so it's hard to work out a realistic budget)
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:26
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

Why not switch with your husband? He can be a stay-at-home Dad... I'm not a parent myself, but the previously mentioned reasons make it very expensive for both parents to work, unless you have family that can take care of your children.

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Yes, rather than encouragement I would say they are working with discouragement. I.e. women are discouraged to go out and work because of school schedules, tax disadvantages, expensive day care, tradition etc, etc.
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:33
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

There's a child allowance (Kinderzulage) that the government provides for each son. Depending on the canton you get 150-250 CHF each month.

It is a pitty that there's no accesible daycare for families in this 1st world country.
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:39
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

That is a bit of a myth actually. There is daycare available and although it is expensive, if you compare two Swiss incomes minus daycare cost minus taxes, you are usually still better off than you would be in any other country in Europe. One has to look at the whole picture.

Also, if you are a low-income family (lower than approx. 100'000 CHF/year) there is subsidized childcare available.

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It is a pitty that there's no accesible daycare for families in this 1st world country.
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:40
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

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There's a child allowance (Kinderzulage) that the government provides for each son. Depending on the canton you get 150-250 CHF each month.

It is a pitty that there's no accesible daycare for families in this 1st world country.
Thanks. What if I had a daughter? Where would one go to investigate this type of thing? I assume there must be government agencies that deal with this type of thing?
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:43
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

Of course you get it also for your daughters :-) The amount differs from canton to canton and the HR department of your (or your husbands) company is usually the best source of information for this.

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Thanks. What if I had a daughter? Where would one go to investigate this type of thing? I assume there must be government agencies that deal with this type of thing?
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:44
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

I am a working mum and my little one goes to a nursery. I don't think mums here are actively encouraged to stay at home but there is a feeling that they don't get much help to work (as previously mentioned - not much of a tax break and sky high costs of nurseries).

Added to this is the incredibly short maternity leave.

I work because we need the money to stay afloat living in the city plus I didn't want to have a massive gap on my CV which could go against me if I am out of the working environment for 2, 3, 4 or more years.

Having said all that my son seems to have hugely benefitted from being in a nursery - he has developed all sorts of skills and is highly social. He has also picked up a variety of bugs and viruses which he would have been protected from at home, away from other kids' dribble and snot.

He's mindful and considerate (in his 2 year old way) of the young babies in his group and aspires to do the "big boys'" stuff so he gets the benefit of both worlds.
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:52
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

Two very important arguments for why it may be a good decision to work even though it doesn't seem "economical" at a first glans.


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I didn't want to have a massive gap on my CV which could go against me if I am out of the working environment for 2, 3, 4 or more years.

Having said all that my son seems to have hugely benefitted from being in a nursery - he has developed all sorts of skills and is highly social. He has also picked up a variety of bugs and viruses which he would have been protected from at home, away from other kids' dribble and snot.
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:57
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

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There's a child allowance (Kinderzulage) that the government provides for each son. Depending on the canton you get 150-250 CHF each month.

It is a pity that there's no accesible daycare for families in this 1st world country.
Eh?? It's per child, sex has nothing to do with it.

Either that or my work colleague is getting scotch mist for her two young daughters...

Daycare is perfectly accessible it is just that you need to look around and perhaps join a waiting list.

We started looking at daycare options while I was still pregnant and took our time and made an effort to find the one best for our needs. Some things just take time and effort but if you aren't willing to put it in, you lose out.
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:57
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

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Of course you get it also for your daughters :-)
I'm sorry, I was just enjoying a touch of harmless humour! I did understand, but couldn't resist the urge to pull a leg!
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:58
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

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Two very important arguments for why it may be a good decision to work even though it doesn't seem "economical" at a first glans.
Those same arguments used by moms all over the world to justify day care at an early age.

I don't think our "homegrown" kids are any sicker or more anti-social than kids that go to day care at an early age. (rest edited out to not draw too much fire)

My $0.02, YMMV.

(I am gonna get groaned for this, I know)
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Old 04.11.2008, 11:58
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

Quote:
I am a working mum and my little one goes to a nursery. I don't think mums here are actively encouraged to stay at home but there is a feeling that they don't get much help to work (as previously mentioned - not much of a tax break and sky high costs of nurseries).

Added to this is the incredibly short maternity leave.

I work because we need the money to stay afloat living in the city plus I didn't want to have a massive gap on my CV which could go against me if I am out of the working environment for 2, 3, 4 or more years.

Having said all that my son seems to have hugely benefitted from being in a nursery - he has developed all sorts of skills and is highly social. He has also picked up a variety of bugs and viruses which he would have been protected from at home, away from other kids' dribble and snot.

He's mindful and considerate (in his 2 year old way) of the young babies in his group and aspires to do the "big boys'" stuff so he gets the benefit of both worlds.
Another thing to consider is fluency on the local language. To get a job without German (or French) adds up to the challenge. That's something one has to consider as well.
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Old 04.11.2008, 12:00
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

I'm guessing that Mojado is native Spanish speaker :-)

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Eh?? It's per child, sex has nothing to do with it.
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Old 04.11.2008, 12:02
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

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That is a bit of a myth actually. There is daycare available and although it is expensive, if you compare two Swiss incomes minus daycare cost minus taxes, you are usually still better off than you would be in any other country in Europe. One has to look at the whole picture.

Also, if you are a low-income family (lower than approx. 100'000 CHF/year) there is subsidized childcare available.
I am looking at the big picture.

My income = x
My income + potential wife's income - childcare costs - additional expenses and hassles = y

x > y q.e.d.

We "may" be better off than in other countries (definitely excluding Germany where child care is encouraged and gov't paid or supported) but we would IMHO definitely not be better off (financially) if my wife worked and we had to put the kids into privately-funded daycare.

Contributing tangible factors include my wife's assumed income potential (probably significantly less than mine), assumed cost of day care (CHF 3-4K / month for 2 kids), and additional expenses and hassles (TBD).

Intangible ones such as personal preference, opinion, or experience from my / her own childhood also played a role.

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Old 04.11.2008, 12:02
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

Na, I won't groan you (I don't do groans). I'll just put you on my list of "posters I won't read because they don't have a clue of what they are talking about" ;-)

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Those same arguments used by moms all over the world to justify day care at an early age.

I don't think our "homegrown" kids are any sicker or more anti-social than kids that go to day care at an early age. (rest edited out to not draw too much fire)

My $0.02, YMMV.

(I am gonna get groaned for this, I know)
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Old 04.11.2008, 12:08
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Re: Encouraging Of Stay at Home Moms

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Those same arguments used by moms all over the world to justify day care at an early age.

I don't think our "homegrown" kids are any sicker or more anti-social than kids that go to day care at an early age. (rest edited out to not draw too much fire)

My $0.02, YMMV.

(I am gonna get groaned for this, I know)
Before I get groaned at for this response, know that I am taking everyone's opinion seriously

But to respond to this one, I think that the only reason why a child would be anti-social from staying at home is if they have no-one to interact with. Surely taking them to the park to play with other kids is as beneficial as the social contact that they get at daycare? If there are enough stay-home moms, surely the parks would be full of toddlers?
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