THERESA Heaney, who is standing for election in Cork South West, has criticised all the mainstream political parties for their failure to stand up for mothers who wish to stay at home and care for their children.
‘The opposite is in fact the case,’ she said, ‘all politicians want more and more mothers working outside the home.’
If elected, she said she will stand up for the right of every mother to childcare her own children without discrimination from the State. ‘The stay-at-home mother is a working mother, too. The Irish Constitution recognises her work as indispensable to the common good. But successive governments have chosen to turn a blind eye to this constitutional imperative and have deprived generations of our mothers of their constitutional right to be financially rewarded for the great the work they did while caring for their children at home,’ she added.
‘Mother care is the best childcare,’ she continued. ‘Mothers know it, fathers know it – and anyone with a spark of common sense knows it. There is sufficient scientific evidence available to confirm that babies up to the age of three are dependent on the ‘one to one’ care of their mothers for proper brain development. No childcare facility, no matter how good, can achieve the same results as one-to-one care. Politicians cannot be allowed to ignore these findings any longer.’
Ms Heaney said that in the interest of the common good and ‘in the best interest of the child’, we must stop forcing mothers ‘out to work’ for financial necessity. The Carer’s Allowance is payable to persons caring for those who are unable to care for themselves. Therefore, mothers who care for their own children in their own home are entitled to be rewarded for their work.
Millions of taxpayers’ money has already been diverted into State-funded childcare facilities despite the well documented damaging consequences for future generations. ‘The time has come to direct taxpayers’ money, by way of a Carer’s Allowance, directly to mothers. That money, if invested into mother-childcare, will benefit babies, mothers, fathers and ultimately, the whole of society,’ she concluded .