As the recent Upper House election highlighted the ongoing debate on how to fund preschools and day care, in combination with recent reports outlining the reluctance of new parents to take parental leave, it is clear there needs to be an overhaul in our approach to child care.
Whether they are inaccessible, unaffordable, unsafe or some combination of the three, many of the choices we as parents have are unsustainable. If we are to seriously address the issues surrounding our declining population, serious attention must be paid to the way we treat parents, especially working mothers, and the obstacles we place in their way. When I became pregnant while working in a corporate environment, I quickly discovered the lack of help available to new parents managing new responsibilities. The only way I saw for my growing family to “make it work” was to quit my job and create the solutions myself.
Having both parents present and invested in their child’s life from early on is critical to creating a successful society. More needs to be done to ensure leave is taken without repercussion and that there is access to the support and services that make parenthood a tenable option.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.