Should Parents Be Paid To Stay At Home?

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Should Parents Be Paid To Stay At Home?

The idea to pay stay-at-home parents isn't new. For years, proponents of "traditional" family values have advocated for policies that would ensure one parent (presumably the mother) could stay home with the children.

But now, it's those on the left that are embracing the idea — 6 of the Democratic senators running for president are co-sponsoring the American Family Act of 2019, which would make parents who don't work for pay eligible to receive up to $300/month for each child up to age 5 and $250/month for each child age 6-16. Unlike childcare subsidies or tax credits, this would make it easier for parents not to work.

Claire Cain Miller wrote about this interesting bi-partisan issue in a recent New York Times Article, "Stay-at-Home Parents Work Hard. Should They Be Paid?"

It's a bit of a conundrum for each party. In a nutshell:

  • The left DOES want women to be compensated for their unpaid labor at home and raising children, but they DON'T want to hold women back in the workforce by re-cementing typical gender roles, given that the majority of stay-at-home parents are women.
  • The right DOES want to support traditional families and gender roles, but they DON'T want to expand government benefits.

Read her full article here and tell us what you think in the comments—should stay-at-home parents be paid? Given that the majority of stay-at-home parents are women, is offering pay for child rearing freeing or stifling?

What other measures would you propose to help parents balance work and family?

P.S. To engage in a conversation like this in real time, join us for our first ever Parents' Panel!

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