Not all childcare packages are the same: qualitative insights into the importance of mixed childcare packages for employed single mothers

Brady, Michelle (2013). Not all childcare packages are the same: qualitative insights into the importance of mixed childcare packages for employed single mothers. In: Fifth International Community, Work and Family Conference: Changes and Challenges in a Globalising World. Program & Abstracts Handbook. CWFC 2013: The Fifth International Community, Work and Family Conference, Camperdown, NSW, Australia, (43-44). 17-19 July, 2013.

Author Brady, Michelle
Title of paper Not all childcare packages are the same: qualitative insights into the importance of mixed childcare packages for employed single mothers
Conference name CWFC 2013: The Fifth International Community, Work and Family Conference
Conference location Camperdown, NSW, Australia
Conference dates 17-19 July, 2013
Proceedings title Fifth International Community, Work and Family Conference: Changes and Challenges in a Globalising World. Program & Abstracts Handbook
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Published abstract
Open Access Status
Start page 43
End page 44
Total pages 2
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
We have long known that access to non-parental childcare is critical to maternal workforce participation, but why? The answer to this question may seem obvious: childcare frees mothers from their demanding and disproportionate parenting responsibilities and allows them to devote some time and energy to paid employment. Beyond this obvious point, there are important gaps in our understanding of how childcare helps mothers to work. For example, existing survey research shows that many parents combine a range of different childcare types, such as grandparent care and center based care, but research has tended to focus on the relationship between maternal employment and use of a single type of childcare.
In this paper I argue that we should consider the full package of childcare that families use including formal only care, informal only childcare and mixed (formal and informal) childcare packages. Formal childcare is care purchased via the market and includes family-based daycare, centre-based care and nannies. Informal childcare is care provided by neighbors, family members and friends. Mixed care is childcare packages that include formal and informal care. In recent research I used large-scale panel survey data to establish that for families with young children (less than seven years) there is a strong relationship between maternal employment and type of childcare used.

After controlling for individual factors we found that mixed childcare is associated with higher hours of maternal employment and this is particularly the case for single mothers (Brady & Perales, 2012, 2013). This research showed that the difference was explained by the use of mixed packages, and not due to observed and unobserved individual factors or differences in the number of hours of care used. However, the data and methodology used could not determine the precise causal mechanisms leading to greater paid work for users of mixed packages.
Keyword Childcare
Single mothers
Child care
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Social Science Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 30 Mar 2014, 13:13:43 EST by Michelle Brady on behalf of School of Social Science