Letter : Child care needed at school age too

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The Independent Online
Sir: The underlying assumption behind the latest child care initiative (Leading article, 29 August) is that mothers of pre-school children want to work, or work longer hours, and that to do this they want child care to be available and affordable.

Dr Catherine Hakim earlier this year suggested that many women made their families their priority, and that their approach was that work should be fitted around their families rather than the other way about.

Your coverage considers women and their supposed aspirations in some detail. Their children apparently are obstacles. We appreciate that many mothers work from economic necessity, and would like to see their circumstances improved so that a real choice becomes possible.

We would like to see a strategy for child care which included some recognition of the needs of parents in the home. The tax system favours two-income families. As your editorial suggests, a "rigorous review" of the tax and benefit system would be of great help.

FRANCES SAVIN

Chairman, Full Time Mothers,

Ingatestone, Essex

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