A new study has found that providing paternity leaves to fathers after the birth of a child not only helps lessen the load on the mothers, but also have a significant impact on children's cognitive development.
Researchers made use of data from Australia, Denmark, Britain and the United States and found that fathers who take paternity leaves of at least two weeks following the birth of a child were more likely to take part in early child caring tasks such as feeding and reading bed-time stories compared to fathers who do not take any such leave.
The researchers also found that children with fathers who take paternity leave perform better in cognitive development tests and are more likely to be prepared for school at the ages of four and five.
"Father's leave is linked to more involvement in childcare activities such as helping a baby to eat, changing nappies, getting up in the night, bathing and reading to a child, compared to fathers who took no leave. There was some evidence of children having better cognitive outcomes when fathers were more involved early on in their lives", Australian researcher Jennifer Baxter said.