The Turkish government has announced the launch of a pilot programme in February 2016 that will provide state salaries to grandmothers who take care of their grandchildren during work days.
The salary will offer an additional income of 400 Turkish lira on top of the grandparent’s pension, working out at about £85 per month, Al Monitor reported.
The scheme is a part of a programme in Turkey called ‘National Mobilisation in Working Life’, which aims to boost employment among working mothers.
Initially, the programme will target 1,000 families for six months before expanding to other provinces in the country. It will only cover children of parents who work part-time.
The aim is that the additional salary will encourage more grandmothers to offer their childcare services, allowing mums to transition to full-time work.
Some people have criticised the project for promoting children staying at home rather than spending time in a social environment, such as a nursery, or with a trained childcare provider.
Burcin Demirkan Baytar, a Turkish child psychologist and family consultant, wrote on her blog: “We would recommend a carer 25 years and older.
“Grannies cannot keep up with the child’s energy.”
This isn’t the first time the country has launched a childcare programme to help enable women to go back to work after having children.
In 2015, the Turkish government created a European Union-funded programme in three provinces, in which working women with kids aged 0-2 received around £350 per month to employ a nanny.
The programme was expanded to two more provinces in November 2016.
The Huffington Post UK has contacted the Turkish Government to check whether this childcare support scheme applies to grandfathers as well as grandmothers. We will update the piece upon their response.