My experience has also been that childcare has been excellent for my children and I would not personally send them to family daycare for a multitude of reasons, although I recognise there are many positives to family daycare too and many good carers. But for our family a community childcare centre has been the perfect fit. I highly doubt there would be enough FDC places, and who exactly would do it, people with young kids couldnt as they would instead be being paid not to work for 3 years
But back to your original statement, if I were paid at 'base rate' to stay at home with my kids for 3 entire years and there was no childcare, I would be likely to have a few more, probably one every 3 years. After all its not likely I could find a job to go back to after a break that long (or only 3 years for that matter) . Not sure how the economy would cope with all of this though? Imagine how society would change, would women even bother to go to uni or tafe if they were planning to have children? Would people who cant get a job decide to just get pregnant? What about the rates of PND (I know many, many mums of under 3s who went back to work because they NEEDED it for their mental health). What about the rates of relationship breakup as the men resent the women for 'doing nothing' (I dont agree with that obviously but its a very very common thing I hear SAHM talk of) and the divide between the sexes becomes massive? And what about multiple births, do they get 6 or 9 years paid?
I just dont see how it could possibly work. Im all for PPL but 3 years per child is a very long time. How would it be funded. And assuming that it needs to be the mother is archaic. Sure you said it didnt have to be but overall that will be the way society heads, making it harder and harder for Dads to get involved with their children. Its hard enough for Dads as it is! And why does there even have to be 1 primary carer? DH and I split our parental leave equally for all our kids and he did just great