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FSD3005 Family Barometer 2014: Family Policy in a Time of Crisis

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Authors

  • Lainiala, Lassi (Family Federation of Finland. Population Research Institute)
  • Miettinen, Anneli (Family Federation of Finland. Population Research Institute)
  • Rotkirch, Anna (Family Federation of Finland. Population Research Institute)

Keywords

child care, child day care, children, families, family benefits, family life, family policy, labour and employment, parental benefits, parental leave, parental role, parents, social security benefits

Abstract

The study charted Finnish views on family policy and included themes such as family benefits, taxation, parenting, gender roles and work-life balance. Data collection was funded by Alli Paasikivi Foundation (80%) and Suomen kotien kukkasrahasto foundation (20%). Many of the questions in this survey have also been presented, for instance, in the previous Family Barometer (FSD2793).

The respondents' views were surveyed on how tax income should specifically be allocated if it was used to support families with children (e.g. on day care services, child health care), and the importance of various measures that could be taken to improve the circumstances of families with children. Views were surveyed on the ideal number of children, plans to have more children, and reasons for not planning to have more children (e.g. own health, uncertain employment situation). The respondents were also asked whether their plans related to having a child would change if family benefits and services were improved.

Opinions were surveyed on the level of child benefit and child home care allowance as well as the length of parental leave and part-time child care leave. Other questions related to part-time child care leave charted whether the respondents had been on the leave with their youngest child and for how long, whether spouse had been on the leave, reasons for being on the leave a longer or shorter time than desired, and reasons for not taking the leave (e.g. negative attitude of employer, new job). The respondents were asked the age at which a child is ready to be cared for outside the home, and to what extent they agreed with a number of statements relating to gender roles and significance of children and family.

Views were investigated on the reasons for the fact that many Finns either postponed parenthood or did not have children at all. Finally, the respondents were asked which potential changes to family leave they found acceptable and how the state had succeeded in improving the well-being of families and children.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's date of birth, gender, mother tongue, region of residence, marital status, household composition, level of education, economic activity and occupational status, political party choice, self-perceived social class, and personal gross annual income. Further background variables included the spouse's year of birth and education, the mother tongues of the members of the household, household size, number and ages of children in the household, gross annual income of the household, and the respondent's/family's financial situation.

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