Chinese working mothers are pleased with the proposal to provide public nursery services during the annual two sessions.[Special Coverage]
The proposal states that financial support for public nursery services and private investment in the sector must be encouraged.
“I am now looking for a qualified nursery for my two-year-old son as his grandma can no longer take care of him due to poor health,” said Bi Huahua, who works for a foreign enterprise in Beijing.
“Public kindergartens usually take children who are above three years old, but can't wait another year,” she added.
A lack of eligible people to take care of children has become a common headache for working parents in big cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen
“A qualified nursery will help working moms to balance their lives, and I am really looking forward to that,” posted WeChat user Nuannuanma.
“Professional nurseries will help to reduce quarrels with our mothers-in-law as we sometimes disagree on how to raise a child, and developed countries already provide such services,” posted Iqsi on Weibo, a Twitter-like service.
China implemented the one-child policy in the late 1970s to rein in a surging population.
In order to cope with an aging society, since Jan. 1, 2016, married couples have been allowed to have two children. This follows an easing of the one-child policy in 2013 that allowed couples to have a second child if either parent was an only child.
However, according to a survey of 10,000 families with children under 15 years old by the All-China Women's Federation in December last year, 53.3 percent of one-child families do not want a second child.
Another survey, by the National Health and Family Planning Commission in 2013 and 2015, showed that there were three main factors affecting willingness to have a second child: women's career development, insufficient child-care resources, especially for toddlers, and financial considerations.
In an effort to support the two-child policy, China has promised to provide 89,000 more maternity beds as well as 140,000 more obstetricians and midwives by 2020.
“The government is considering a tax deduction for two-child families,” said Finance Minister Xiao Jie at a press conference during the two sessions.