Over 53 per cent of families with one child in China do not want a second child despite the government’s move to amend the decades old one-child policy by permitting two children, an official survey here said. The survey, co-conducted by state-run All-China Women’s Federation along with Beijing Normal University’s National Innovation Centre for Assessment of Basic Education Quality, interviewed 10,000 families with children under 15 years old in 10 provincial-level regions, including Beijing and Liaoning to find majority of one child couples reluctant to have a second baby.
The key factor for most parents considering a second child is quality of public services, including kindergartens and schools, quality of baby products, living environment and access to medical treatment, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the survey as saying.
The survey results are regarded as set back for the government as it wants to encourage couples to have second child in order to counter the demographic crisis.
Already China is saddled with over 250 million people above sixty and the number was expected to go high in the coming years reducing Chin’s labour strength.
Other major considerations include if the mother has the stamina to cope with a second child, the family’s social and economic conditions and whether someone will help take care the baby before he/she is old enough to go to kindergarten, the survey said.
The survey also showed that over half of two-child families have confusion about nurturing the children, including how to establish and maintain close relations with the children and how to deal with problems between them.
Due to financial strain, a considerable number of families “do not dare or want” to have a second child, said Chen Xiaoxia, head of the ACWF children department.
Chen said families that have a second child have new demands concerning public services, and need guidance in family education.
Since January 1, China has allowed married couples to have two children.
This follows an earlier easing of the one-child policy in 2013 that allowed couples to have a second child if either parent was an only child.
The one-child policy was implemented in the late 1970s.