Gluing, catching and connecting: how informal childcare strengthens single mothers’ employment trajectories

Brady, Michelle (2016) Gluing, catching and connecting: how informal childcare strengthens single mothers’ employment trajectories. Work, Employment and Society, 30 5: 821-837. doi:10.1177/0950017016630259


Author Brady, Michelle
Title Gluing, catching and connecting: how informal childcare strengthens single mothers’ employment trajectories
Journal name Work, Employment and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0950-0170
1469-8722
Publication date 2016-03-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0950017016630259
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 30
Issue 5
Start page 821
End page 837
Total pages 17
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Research on single mothers’ employment overwhelmingly focuses on the importance of access to formal childcare at a single point in time. However, to understand the relationship between childcare and single mothers’ employment we must consider their access to and use of multiple forms of childcare – their childcare packages – and how these change over time. Drawing on a longitudinal qualitative study and employing the concepts of ‘caringscapes’ and ‘work-time/childcare-time’, this article highlights how childcare packages shape single mothers’ employment trajectories. Informal carers play a crucial role within mixed (formal and informal) childcare packages in helping mothers bring children’s needs, work-time and childcare time into alignment, thus strengthening their employment trajectories. Informal carers achieve this effect by: (1) increasing the total hours of non-parental care; (2) ‘gluing’ together complex jigsaws of care; (3) offering a ‘safety net’ in times of crisis; and (4) playing a ‘connector’ role during employment transitions.
Keyword Lone parents
Single parents
Childcare
Child care
Employment
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Social Science Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 07 Mar 2016, 12:02:04 EST by Michelle Brady on behalf of School of Social Science