It is part of our rural and cultural tradition that women in families bear most of the caring responsibilities in terms of childcare, elder care and caring for those with a disability.
Caring responsibilities often isolate women, particularly those in rural areas who may become excluded from fully participating in social, economic and community-based activities.
Flexible, affordable, accessible quality childcare is very difficult to find in rural areas. Distance from work means rural women’s childcare starts earlier and ends later, up to 2 hours a day more than their urban counterparts.
This can make childcare unaffordable and work/life balance unrealistic. The recent economic downturn has also had an impact on grandmothers, who are increasingly required to shoulder greater childcare responsibilities.
- Recognise the work of carers
- Provide adequate resources, support and respite for carers
- Agree a Rural-proofed Childcare Strategy that delivers flexible, affordable, accessible childcare options for rural families
- Acknowledge that childcare is both a social and economic issue; encouraging mothers to return to work or training needs to be supported by affordable childcare provision