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Families with a Second Child Need Support from Society
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2018-6-6-
Title: Families with a Second Child Need Support from Society
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Source: Women of China
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Keyword: Families,Second, Child, Need, Support,Society
 

The baby boom does not seem to be as expected in spite of the second-child policy being introduced. The high cost of raising a second child has diminished people's desire to have a second child.

Experts suggest that providing better social welfare to cover the cost of raising a child should be accelerated in order to solve the expensive burden of having a second child.

According to a survey of 1,977 people aged from 18 to 35 conducted by the Social Survey Center of China from the Youth Daily, 77.2% of respondents think the cost of raising two children is expensive and 90.6% believe social support should be offered.

Education, housing and medical support are considered to be the major aspects requiring social support. Aside from this, 63.5% advocate for the improvement of public services for infants and children younger than 3 years old.

For example, Xue Min, a mother of two, mentioned the high cost of raising her children. She considers there are three major expenses: consumer products such as formula milk, clothing and diapers, educational payments for books and training classes, and a large amount of money for childcare.

"Child-raising is a long process. It takes a lot of time and energy. Society should offer understanding and support." Xue believes social support is necessary for families raising a second-child.

She also remarked that improving the maternal and child facilities in public places would make it easier for parents to take their kids out to play. Hospitals, especially community clinics, should also offer more convenient medical help for children.

Shen Liang works in a foreign company in Beijing. His child is 4 years old. "Young children can easily get sick. Although medical insurance can cover some of the bill, it is still a lot to pay. We also have to hire a babysitter to look after our child, which costs the family 3000 yuan (US$ 477) per month."

As his child grows older, he plans send them to kindergarten and training classes, but these also cost a lot of money. He pointed out that the limited number of affordable public kindergartens means that they have to send their child to private ones that are much more expensive, charging as much as 5000 yuan (US$ 795) per month.

Li Wei, an employee in an institute in Beijing, is in a similar situation. In his view, the cost of nursing the child and education are the main pressures for raising a second child.

"When my wife was pregnant, she had to do health checks in a designated hospital in Beijing. Every time she went to a pregnancy examination, she had to wait in line for a long time." Li Wei said. He had to accompany his wife to the examination, which meant both of them had to ask for leave from work.

Parents who both have full-time jobs can only rely on the elderly in their family to take care of the kids. However, if they are in bad health, the parents have to hire a babysitter.

In addition, as Li said, if the age difference of the kids is large, it will cause trouble as well. When the elder one needs tutoring, the little one is probably crying.

The two biggest concerns are that the family may be shorthanded for taking care of two children and the mother’s professional career may be affected. There are also concerns about high quality educational resources (56.6%), high housing costs (43.5%), high costs of pregnancy and examination (42.3%), and inadequate medical resources (35.6%).

According to Kuang Xianming, Director of the Institute of Economic Research at the Institute of Reform and Development in South China’s Hainan Province, the cost of raising a family depends on two factors.

The first is the increase of the cost of raising children due to economic development. The other reason is the structural changes at different stages of their children.

"Reducing birth costs involves not only a single family, but also an important social policy." Kuang said. With the improvement of the development of society, it is a trend to achieve social welfare to cover the costs of raising a child.

Kuang believes that it is necessary to take concrete measures to ease the "fertility anxiety" of young parents. "We must speed up the construction of a socialized preschool education system, establish a sound infant support system, increase the supply of high-quality preschool education services, and address the worries of child-bearing-age families."

Secondly, we will exert the structural adjustment of fiscal and tax expenditures, including increasing subsidies for women of childbearing age, increasing financial expenditures on education, and promoting balanced allocation of quality educational resources.

Thirdly, we must increase the tax deduction for second-child families. It is essential to make part of the cost of raising a second child a tax-deductible item as soon as possible.

In conclusion, there is still a long way to go to change the structure of population and social support is necessary to help the second-child policy realize its full potential.

(Source: cyol.com/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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