Famous Dads Are Pushing For Better Parental Leave For Fathers

The Dads Action Plan for the Early Years calls for a new national strategy.

A group of high profile Australian dads have launched a new campaign pushing for better parental leave for fathers.

The Dads Action Plan for the Early Years calls on the federal government to fund 12 weeks of paid parental leave for fathers and non-birthing parents, doubling the current leave for non-birthing parents to four weeks and establishing concurrent leave.

The campaign argues that better parental leave will not only benefit fathers and children but mothers as well, with fathers being more supported to take an equal share of parenting in these crucial early weeks.

Comedian Hamish Blake joins Australia’s Local Hero of 2023 Amar Singh, Bluey voice actor David McCormack, and Red Wiggle Simon Pryce as the faces of the campaign.

“Becoming a dad can be a pretty overwhelming time for a lot of guys, and in my experience this generation of dads really want to be more engaged, but perhaps don’t always know where and how to get support,” Blake told AAP.

“Something like this helps make that more possible for more dads, and I reckon that’s a massive, long-term good thing for everyone involved.”

Singh also spoke to the publication, explaining “It’s good for family values to have both parents there and with the flexibility to take care of the kids, be around them more, nourish them and create that bond.”

Red Wiggle, Simon Pryce protests for better early education.

The five-point action plan also calls for more affordable and accessible early childhood education, better resources and support for fathers to be active and caring parents, and a significant boost in the number of male early childhood educators.

According to Pryce, he struggled to find an early learning place for his son Asher.

“We know how important access to quality early learning and care is to our son’s development and future (and) it’s also really important for Lauren and I to be able to continue our careers,” he said.

“Affordable access to early learning for all children is essential for every child and their parents in Australia.”

The campaign, which has launched under the Minderoo Foundation’s ThrivebyFive strategy, has already received support from multiple organisations around the country, including Playgroup Victoria, The Parenthood and Dads Group,

The campaign and Minderoo Foundation director, Jay Weatherill has said the campaign is “as much about changing social norms as it is about money as well.”

“For too long access to childcare and kindergarten has been seen mostly as a women’s issue, but this does not reflect the reality of modern families.”

“Dads know that early childhood education is good for their kids—they want them to have the opportunities it provides for their social, cognitive and emotional development, and the lifelong benefits that come with that,”

“On top of that, modern dads want to take a more active and engaged role in parenting but government and employer policies and services have not caught up with that change.”

“So I am really pleased to see these fellow dads coming forward today to call on politicians to do everything they can to make sure children are set up to thrive.”

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