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This paper assesses the short-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market for childcare and speculates about potential long-term consequences of…
This paper assesses the short-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market for childcare and speculates about potential long-term consequences of pandemic-related policy intervention.
The paper uses basic statistics and data to describe changes in the market for childcare.
Policy responses to the pandemic likely aggravated pre-existing trends in the market for childcare, drove up the cost of production at a time when demand was collapsed because of the pandemic, and ultimately resulted in systematic closures of childcare centers. These closures will be difficult to reverse due to the high cost of entry into the industry and overall low profitability.
The study is just a preliminary investigation in its current form that points to future areas of research.
This paper summarizes the results of existing studies and draws some basic conclusions about the effects of policy intervention.
The goal of this chapter is to analyse the factors that might have affected the gender division of labour in Japan by investigating the interaction between policies…
The goal of this chapter is to analyse the factors that might have affected the gender division of labour in Japan by investigating the interaction between policies, culture and practices on gender equality and fathers’ involvement in childcare, and examine whether there is possibility of moving towards a more equal share of paid work and care as in other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. To achieve this goal, the chapter explores the changes in the discourse of experts and policy makers on the role of fathers and mothers in the care of children, legislation aimed at the resolution of the gendered division of labour and larger involvement of fathers in childcare and the resultant change (or persistence) in individual attitudes and practices of fathers and mothers.
The overview of the changes in Japan suggests that the culture, institutions, and practices related to fathers’ involvement in childcare interact with each other at different paces and bring a greater involvement of fathers in childcare.
However, the preceding increase in fathers’ time in childcare and housework still only results in a much shorter time than fathers spend in most of the European countries. Although, the rapid increase after 2010 in the proportion of mothers who continue to work after childbearing may trigger a breakthrough in the persistent gendered division of labour in Japan, this would also require other components of gender arrangements such as effective regulation of working time.
Over the last two to three decades, European welfare states have witnessed fundamental changes in both family and labour market structures with many more women being in…
Over the last two to three decades, European welfare states have witnessed fundamental changes in both family and labour market structures with many more women being in the paid labour market. While this was seen to address previous problems linked to women’s disadvantage, it has also been argued to give rise to new risk and social inequalities, including falling fertility rates and increasing childlessness. Research has identified the lack of affordable childcare as a key factor in childlessness leading to a strong EU focus on early childhood education and care. Since 2000, the EU has played a more proactive role in policies and initiatives aimed to address decreasing fertility rates with greater pressure for convergence among member states. However, there has continued to be a large degree of variation between countries. This chapter thus examines the case of Germany which has one of the highest levels of childlessness in Europe. It focuses on the intersection between childlessness and childcare provision in Germany and analyses the existing childcare arrangements with a view to understand how they influence childlessness. Particular attention is given to the role of the German government as the main actor in the process to explore ideology-related explanations of German policy-makers which led to contradictory policies. Relying on an extensive review of the related literature and policy documents, together with the personal interviews with policy-makers, academics and women’s organisations, this chapter concludes that the relatively conservative outlook of the German government which prioritises the motherhood and caregiver role, and the dominance of the corporate welfare system, has limited developments to improve access to childcare resulting in ‘a culture of childlessness’ in Germany (Kreyenfeld & Konietzka, 2017).
This chapter discusses the employment of migrant women to work as ‘nannies’ in private homes in the United Kingdom.1 The term nanny has been used in the United Kingdom to…
This chapter discusses the employment of migrant women to work as ‘nannies’ in private homes in the United Kingdom.1 The term nanny has been used in the United Kingdom to denote a ‘qualified childcare professional’ (Cox, 2006; Gregson & Lowe, 1994). In this chapter, however, I argue that in 2010 it also referred to a form of deprofessionalised unqualified childcare provided in private homes across the United Kingdom. Migrant women have long been over-represented in care and domestic work in a range of advanced and emerging states (Anderson, 2007; Lutz, 2008) and this form of deprofessionalised nanny employment was no exception. This alternative use of the term nanny in the United Kingdom therefore referred with increasing frequency to migrant women who could be tasked with caring for children while also shopping, cooking, cleaning, driving, providing homework assistance etc. The chapter argues further that deprofessionalised nanny employment, occurring as it did in private domestic spaces and in the context of very low levels of state control, was likely to be characterised by high levels of informality (Cyrus, 2008). This meant that an important element of the childcare and associated domestic work sector in the United Kingdom was performed illegally. Deprofessionalisation and informality in the employment of (often migrant) nannies in the United Kingdom is troubling not only because of its association with illegal employment but also because it represented a marked failure to realise the demands for the upgrading of the status of care- and housework that have been key themes of feminist debate since the 1970s (Lutz, 2008).
The chapter draws on recent scientific findings on the participation of fathers in childcare, and the perception of the role of fathers by both men and women in the Czech…
The chapter draws on recent scientific findings on the participation of fathers in childcare, and the perception of the role of fathers by both men and women in the Czech Republic. We apply a mixed method approach, combining qualitative data from longitudinal research on transition to motherhood and fatherhood (TransPARENT), which traced 16 parental couples for four years, with data from quantitative surveys on the topics of parenting and work–life balance. The data are examined for the incidence of breadwinner and the involved father models in Czech families. We focus on the earliest stage of the family life course, that is, when the children are aged between zero and four years. We show that fathers of young children still predominantly assume the breadwinner role, leaving most childcare to mothers. However, the growing number of parents expressing a preference for a more equal sharing of childcare indicates a shift in both the perception of fatherhood and the value placed on the active participation of fathers in early childcare in the Czech Republic. The main limitation of this text is that it only focuses on families with very young children. The future research should fill the gaps in contemporary knowledge of Czech families by addressing the division of roles, and particularly the roles of fathers, in households with school-age children. The chapter suggests that fathers’ greater involvement in childcare could be stimulated by policy measures such as the introduction of paternal leave or broadening the range of (public) childcare services for the youngest children.
In the spirit of Polachek (1975) and the later work of Becker (1985) on the role of specialization within the family, we examine the relationship between fringe benefits…
In the spirit of Polachek (1975) and the later work of Becker (1985) on the role of specialization within the family, we examine the relationship between fringe benefits and the division of labor within a married household. The provision of fringe benefits is complicated by their non-additive nature within the household, as well as IRS regulations that stipulate that they be offered in a non-discriminatory manner in order to maintain their tax-exempt status. We model family decisions within a framework in which one spouse specializes in childcare and as a result experiences a reduction in market productive capacity. Our model predicts that the forces toward specialization become stronger as the number of children increase, so that the spouse specializing in childcare will have some combination of lower wages, hours worked, and fringe benefits. We demonstrate that to the extent that labor markets are incomplete, the family is less likely to obtain health insurance from the employer of the spouse that specializes in childcare. Using data from the April 1993 CPS we find evidence consistent with our model.
Personal services are extremely important in the lives of working parents. This applies in particular to childcare services, as care responsibilities constitute a major…
Personal services are extremely important in the lives of working parents. This applies in particular to childcare services, as care responsibilities constitute a major obstacle to (full) employment. The importance of measures in this area has long been recognised by the European Council and Union. In March 1992, the European Council passed a recommendation on childcare to the effect that Member States ‘should take and/or progressively encourage initiatives to enable women and men to reconcile their occupational family and upbringing responsibilities arising from the care of children’ (92/241/EEC). Ten years later, at the 2002 Barcelona summit, the aims were formulated more explicitly and targets were set with regard to childcare. Confirming the goal of full employment, the European Council agreed that ‘Member States should remove disincentives to female labour force participation and strive, taking into account the demand for childcare facilities and in line with national patterns of provision, to provide childcare by 2010 to at least 90% of children between 3 years old and the mandatory school age and at least 33% of children under 3 years of age’ (European Council, 2002).
This paper studies earnings and labor force participation of native Swedes and recent immigrants in Sweden in response to the childcare reforms of 2001 and 2002 using a…
This paper studies earnings and labor force participation of native Swedes and recent immigrants in Sweden in response to the childcare reforms of 2001 and 2002 using a difference-in-differences approach and register-based data for the period of 1995–2009. Immigrant and native Swedish mothers are distinguished in order to study if increased accessibility to childcare might be particularly beneficial for groups facing obstacles in entering the labor market. The results show that the reforms had a positive effect on earnings and labor force participation among native mothers with preschool children. The group of immigrant mothers studied did not experience any gain in labor market outcomes as a response to the reform.
While scholars have developed increasingly well-developed accounts of institutional change, little attention has been paid to how change is resisted and, in particular…
While scholars have developed increasingly well-developed accounts of institutional change, little attention has been paid to how change is resisted and, in particular, how efforts to marketize fail. We draw on the institutional logics perspective to guide analysis of an empirical case of the failed attempt by the Dutch state to marketize childcare organizations and create a market for childcare. We document that even though the existence of logics that were antithetical to the market logic did not catalyze organized collective resistance to marketization, the market logic never took root, and marketization has even been rolled back. We argue that the failure to create a childcare market in the Netherlands was caused by individual-level cognitive dissonance that cumulated into profound field-level ambivalence that undermined efforts to implement market practices. We develop several propositions that could usefully guide future research on how cognitive dissonance might underlie the failure to construct markets. By theorizing failure to change a field, we contribute to the limited body of work that has looked at failed attempts to change institutions, arguing for more attention to individual-field cross-level dynamics.
In the Netherlands, childcare and primary schools are governed by two different systems of two ministries, and although these institutes are usually located nearby, there…
In the Netherlands, childcare and primary schools are governed by two different systems of two ministries, and although these institutes are usually located nearby, there always have been low levels of cohesion with respect to institute-to-institute collaboration. However currently, there is a national trend in enhancing interprofessional collaboration (IPC) with the aim of inclusion and equity. This study focuses on getting insight into the differences in intensity of collaboration and how IPC is organized. A two-dimensional Child Centre Integration Model which accounts for the variations in the degree of IPC in child centres and gives insight into IPC at different levels and into conditions for intensifying IPC is presented. That Dutch education and childcare systems do not connect with each other is seen to be an important cause of the failure or complication of IPC. Because the systems do not connect at the macro level, we see struggles in the necessary normative dimension due to status differences (i.e., inequality between employees) and differences in funding and autonomy. Differences between public (education) and private (childcare) institutions also lead to difficulties when it comes to fostering closer collaboration. This chapter ends with key lessons for practice and policy, including the suggestion that one strong ministry for child affairs, including education and childcare, which stimulates an unambitious course at national level, is required. This course can then be translated at regional and local levels.