Becoming a new parent is one of the most important stages in family

Becoming a new parent is one of the most important stages in family. The time when need to reflect not only about yourself, but also about future child. Immediately the question arises of the material well-being: how does the state help in such a special situation? What payments are made by the state? For what period is the leave from work on child care granted?
Parental leave is a remuneration to employees available in almost all countries that provides paid time off from work to take care of the child or take measures for the well-being of the child. The terms “parental leave” and “family leave” include maternity, paternity. Often, the minimum benefits are provided for by law. These laws can change not only within one country, but also depending on the specific company where parents work or the number of employees in it.
Paternity leave is usually a short period of leave to care for the child and the mother around the time of childbirth. In additional, Parental leave tends to be a longer period of leave to care for the child beyond maternity or paternity leave and is typically available to one or both of the parents.1
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, qualifying American parents are guaranteed 12 weeks of family leave to care for a new child. While the law requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide new parents with 12 weeks of leave, it doesn’t require this leave to be paid.2 In fact, the US is one of just two countries in the world that doesn’t ensure any paid time off for new moms, according to a report from the International Labor Organization.3 Currently, the United States is at a crossroads in its policies for families and women. In contrast, the other member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) peers empower families through paid parental leave and comprehensive investments in infants and children. The United States is the only country in the OECD that does not offer paid maternity leave at the national level, and one of nine OECD countries that does not have a paid leave entitlement reserved for fathers. Furthermore, only about 60% of American workers are eligible for twelve weeks of unpaid employment protection around childbirth.4 It is difficult to measure how maternal employment, or the use of parental leave affects children. The biggest problem is that mothers who work or take leave when their children are young are likely to differ from those who do not.5 Access to family leave for the care of newborn and young children is important for family life. paid leave is so scarce in the United States, there has been little research on paid leave here. Studies of paid leave in other countries, though, have shown:
Paid parental leave can reduce the share of low birth weight births by over 10% and decreases the likelihood of early term birth by nearly 7%.6 Also, decreases in infant mortality, even for babies born close to full term who would otherwise have very little risk for premature death. (The United States has one of the highest infant mortality rates relative to other industrialized countries.).7
Paid parental leave can also increase the rate and duration of breast-feeding. Women are more likely to breastfeed when they take maternity leave, and longer leave increases both the likelihood and duration of breastfeeding.8 A 2011 study in California found that women who had paid leave breast-fed twice as long as women who did not take leave. Babies who are breast-fed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are less likely to get a variety of infections and are also at lower risk for asthma, obesity and sudden infant death syndrome.9
Women who took a maternity leave longer than 12 weeks reported fewer depressive symptoms, a reduction in severe depression, and, when leave is paid, an improvement in overall and mental health.10
Most fundamentally, paid leave enables women to physically recover from childbirth before returning to work.11 In addition, some research suggests that paid parental leave also has benefits for mothers’ mental and emotional health. For example, several studies have found that the availability of leave reduces the risk of postpartum depression while Avendano et al.12, using a difference-in-differences approach, found that more generous maternity leave policies are associated with lower rates of maternal depression in older age. However, across both physical and mental health, length of leave may make a critical difference. According to two studies, it is after 12 weeks of post-partum leave that mothers’ self-reported measures of vitality and physical health typically begin to improve.10
“Women who were exposed to a more generous maternity leave policy were 18% less likely to suffer from depression 30 years later when they were 50 or older”, – said Mauricio Avendano, one of the study’s co-authors and associate professor of social science, health and medicine at King’s College London.13
The early bonds parents develop with their babies are foundational to future learning and relationships. Responsive parents let infants and toddlers know they are loved, safe, and cared for, which gives them the confidence to explore their environments, acquire new skills and abilities, and develop independence. Paid leave helps parents have the time they need at home to become a responsive caregiver to a young child, establishing a pattern that will promote the child’s long-term cognitive, social, and emotional development.14
“Children do better in terms of their cognitive and socioemotional development when parents can stay home longer in the first year of life.”15
Families also benefit when fathers are with their families around the time children are born. Fathers’ leave-taking is associated with higher female employment, less gender stereotyping at home, and higher life satisfaction. Extended time at home during early infancy is also associated with fathers’ greater involvement with their children, which also has positive effects on children’s cognitive and emotional development.16 In a study looking at fathers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Australia, dads who took paternity leave of 10 days or longer were more involved with their children and with child care activities than men who took no leave.15
When parents take time to care for their sick children, the kids have a speedier recovery, and the length of hospital stays is decreased by nearly a third.17 Access to paid family leave has shown a decrease in child abuse related head traumas. Paid leave helps children by helping their parents. 14
The United States can build on good practices in U.S. states and other OECD countries to improve gender equality and support families. Several states have taken the lead in promoting family-friendly social policies for mothers, fathers, and children, and public support for these policies is high. It is time for the United States federal government to get behind public initiatives supporting families:
• The United States should introduce paid maternity and parental leave around childbirth at the federal level, to strengthen parental labour force attachment and give all American children the best possible start in life.
• The United States should increase federal and state investment in pre-primary childcare, by granting low-income workers access to Child and Dependent Care Credit, while states and local- governments should continue to innovate with pre-primary childcare programmes.18
Beginning in 2018, New York State will offer one of the country’s most generous paid family leave programs to date to more than 6.4 million private?sector workers.19 By 2021, eligible workers will be able to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave each year, receiving up to 67% of their weekly wages, capped at nearly $850/week based on the current average weekly wage in New York.20 Workers will be eligible for this benefit after 6 months of working for a private?sector employer, regardless of their employer’s size, as well as job protection and continuation of health care benefits. The New York State paid family leave benefit will be available to bond with a new child within one year of a child’s birth, placement in foster care, or adoption, to care for a seriously ill family member, or to address certain legal, financial, and childcare?related military family needs.21 The law does not automatically apply to those working in the public sector.
Similarly, municipalities have taken action, for example, Washington, DC has passed legislation to provide up to eight weeks of parental leave and up to 6 weeks for family care at up to 90% pay beginning in 2020 for private sector workers, and San Francisco will require employers in the private sector to provide workers with 6 weeks of parental leave at up to 100% of pay beginning January 2017.22