Nonstandard work schedules and child care decisions: Evidence form the NICHD Study of Early Child Care

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Abstract

Using a longitudinal dataset collected by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Early Child Care Research Network, this paper investigates the association between work schedules and child care decisions among mothers with children under 3 years of age. Separate analyses were conducted on a sample of married mothers to examine the influence of fathers' as well as mothers' employment characteristics on child care decisions. Descriptive statistics reveal that changes in mothers' work schedules are accompanied by changes in child care arrangements, with a higher percentage of families in which the mother changed to working nonstandard hours having switched to care by the father and a higher percentage of families in which the mother changed to working standard hours having switched to center care. The regression results further indicate that the father's work schedule is an important factor contributing to child care decisions, with the probability of paternal care highest in families where both parents work nonstandard hours. Results in this paper shed new light on understanding the question of whether families change child care arrangements when parents move into or out of nonstandard employment schedules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-256
Number of pages26
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

Keywords

  • Child care decisions
  • Nonstandard work schedules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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