Thursday, May 5, 2011

The role of French Government in providing a 'quality' family life...

When talking about the balance between work and family life, it becomes essential to talk about certain facilities that French people are entitled to, which allows French parents to work less and support their family and at the same time provide quality life for their children. The most important privilege that every French citizens are entitled to is the national health care system placed by the government of France. France no doubt, has one of the best health systems in Europe. Because of this reason, parents do not have to work extra hours to pay for their family health insurance or hospital bills etc. Unlike countries like United States of America, France has a secured health system to aid its citizens. I learnt about the health care system when I was myself applying for my residence permit and had to go for a health check up. It is then that one of patient at the waiting room explained how they go to the doctor for every small thing because they are covered for it and even hospital matters do not cost them a fortune.

Below is a clip that explains the ‘amazing’ health care system in France.

Second facility that all the French parents have access to is a very supportive childcare system where day care costs are often heavily subsidized and pre schools are often free. Due to these reasons, many parents do not worry about spending most of their daily income on childcare facilities. When mothers go to work they are content that her child is safe in day care where they excellent care is provided. Due to the same reason, parents do not find it necessary to work long hours but instead enjoy spending quality time with their young ones. At the beginning of the semester when our group had to create a company for a project, we decided to create a business plan for a daycare company and developed costs based on our previous knowledge about the prices in North America. I was surprised when the students commented on how expensive the prices looked in their view. The French people do not comprehend the idea of a costly childcare because the French government and other organizations has heavily subsidized such facilities for them.

Another interesting fact that came as a surprise for me from my German Erasmus first semester was the fact that French women generally are better at balancing work and family life than German women. When I thought about Germany, I always assumed that everything is systematic and properly laid out, thus, automatically there would be a system placed out to balance work and family life for German mothers. However, while surfing the Internet for more facts on that, I stumbled across numerous articles that gave many reasons why French women are better at balancing work and family life. Some of the reasons was the fact that in France women have more opportunity to secure a higher position at a job making them financially stable, there is very less amount of gender gap between males and females in France and France has a better childcare and healthcare system, all of which directly affects family life. While in Germany, it sometimes becomes hard for female to choose between career and family.

In Amiens, I have noticed that many female secure superior positions in banks and other government institution. At the same time, they provide their children with quality bonding time, whether it means more vacation and outing or simply more family fun time. The French's do not compromise on that.
Something that can be learnt from French culture: there is no compromise when it comes to having fun. It is something I love about the French culture.


  1. Wow, that's very interesting.
    In fact, I think if I had children and were to habituate somewhere, it would be France due to your reasonings about the health care systems and quality time.