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Family benefits when parents dedicate time to themselves

Government and sector

As parents, taking time out from our families to focus on our own interests can seem like an impossible pipedream. 

Often it feels as though the very notion of time away from day-to-day parenting is an impossibility. 

But with more than 85 per cent of Goodstart families, and around one million Australian families set to be better off with the new Child Care Subsidy package, picking up an extra day of early learning for your children could not only benefit them, but also provide parents with more time to pursue outside interests. 

Parents who dedicate time in their lives to pursue interests that fulfil them, tend to be happier, creating a sense of harmony and making a positive contribution to their family life, says Goodstart Senior Child & Family Practitioner Alma-Jane O’Donnell.

“If you look at attachment theory, it shows that from birth children are attuned to the emotions of their parents, it is well known that if parents are happy then their children are happy,” she said. 

“Happy parents are more open and positive and emotionally available to their children.”

Under the new Child Care Subsidy package, which was released this month, many families will be able to access an extra day of quality early learning for little or no cost.

High quality early learning environments are known to provide real and lasting benefits for children, and they also provide parents with the opportunity to make a positive emotional contribution to their families. 

“If parents are doing something they are really engaged in and positive about it has a flow on effect, creating a positive vibe in the house and a sense of excitement and achievement,” Alma-Jane said.

“Children thrive in their parent’s happiness and with the right work and life balance, families benefit when parents can demonstrate and role model that they can achieve something and it can be done together as a family without there being too much sacrifice."

Whether it be picking up more work to lessen a stressful financial burden, or engaging in study or a personal challenge, children benefit when they are in a family that has hope for the future and goals to strive for.  

“It also shows the children that there are so many options and possibilities for their future life and if they see that their parents are striving for certain goals, then they learn that they can do that too,” Alma-Jane said. 

And it seems time is one of the most valuable commodities for families around Australia, with more than 60 per cent of parents surveyed in the First Five Years Snapshot of Australian Families survey, believing more quality time for themselves would positively influence how happy they feel in their role as a parent. 

With the introduction of the new Child Care Subsidy (from 2 July), quality early learning may become more affordable for your family.

Use our simple subsidy estimator to get a child care subsidy estimate today.

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