BMFSFJ – Kristina Schröder: Parents want more flexible working hours and company support in childcare

© 2019 Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth

24.09.2012 Latest news

Kristina Schröder: “Parents want more flexible working hours and company support with childcare”.

Dr. Kristina Schröder and Prof. Renate Köcher

73 percent of parents of children under 16 want more time for the family. Full-time working mothers even express this wish at 88 percent, part-time working mothers at 78 percent. While fathers would like to work less, mothers would particularly like to see relief in everyday family life.

This is a result of the “Monitor Familienleben” presented by the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Dr. Kristina Schröder, together with Prof. Renate Köcher, Managing Director of the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach, on 24 September in Berlin.

“Parents would like the employer to ease their workload by providing flexible working hours on the one hand and company support for childcare on the other,” said Federal Family Minister Kristina Schröder. “Two thirds of mothers say that their company should offer its own childcare for its employees. Companies in Germany should take this wish more seriously and increasingly rely on the company’s own childcare facilities. Because parents who know that their children are in good hands can also work more stress-free and efficiently. To support companies, we are launching the ‘Company Childcare’ support programme in October to help companies, especially small and medium-sized ones, set up company childcare facilities,” says Kristina Schröder.

Central results of the “Monitor Family Life

  • 50 percent of fathers would like to work less, 37 percent would like more flexible working hours. 32 percent of mothers would like paid domestic help or stronger support from their partner in household and upbringing (30 percent), as well as support in organising their children’s everyday lives with school and leisure activities (34 percent).
  • 70 per cent of mothers say they do most of their work at home alone, 38 per cent spend a lot of time taking children to care facilities, school or leisure activities
  • Reconciling family and career remains the most important task of family policy: 87 percent of the population think this task is important or very important. 68 percent want support from politicians to look after relatives in need of care at home and 59 percent consider it important to support young families.
  • There is broad support for the expansion of childcare for under-threes: 75 percent consider the expansion of childcare to be a good thing, parents of children and three years old even 87 percent.
  • 69 percent of those surveyed believe that the state and companies are equally obliged to make it possible to reconcile family and career. From the respondents’ point of view, a family-friendly company should above all provide flexible working hours (89 percent), grant special leave if the child is ill (65 percent) and create opportunities for mothers and fathers to work from home.
  • Child wishes: 71 percent of childless people under 50 find two children ideal, ten percent one child and 19 percent three or more children. The desire to have children among young people is high: 58 percent of those under 30 years of age say they will definitely want children later, 28 percent say they will have children in the future.
  • Financial burdens and career plans are less and less an obstacle to fulfilling one’s desire to have children: Whereas in 2003 47 and 37 percent, respectively, cited these points as a reason for not having children, by 2012 only 22 percent say so. 49 percent, on the other hand, still feel too young, 46 percent have not found the right partner.

Reconciling work and family life

The 8th Family Report, which was presented to the Federal Minister for Family Affairs in the spring, shows a way in which time policy can be implemented purposefully and systematically. The core idea of a time policy for families is that women and men can better realise their ideas of a good family life than before. To achieve this, they need room for manoeuvre and decision making.

More time sovereignty in the world of work, time relief through the promotion of household-related family support services and the improvement of time conditions at the municipal level are the central projects of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs in the coming months.

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