The U.S. has zero government assistance for child care for the average working woman, whether married or single. This detailed accounting of the child-care situation in Germany–and the concommitant situation of working women there–gives an interesting contrast, including the fact that Germans have come to believe that all children should be eligible for state-supported child care at age 3. Sadly, facilities are so limited that only 7% of women can find such a place for their child. And now they’re looking into whether they ought to consider providing state care for kids under 3.
And listen to this–women can take THREE YEARS off for child rearing and still be able to return to the same company. That certainly has pluses for the woman and child, but it looks like mostly minuses for the company.
Interesting statistics on German working women: 28% of German entrepreneurs are female; 40% of German college-educated women are childless (they don’t say, but it could be many of these are young women not yet married and/or choosing to have children). Not surprisingly, Germany has the same conspicuous absence of women in boardrooms despite a strong presence (47% in private industry) among middle managers and 24% in “senior” (undefined) management.