In this study we compare evidence based on time use data for three countries: Italy, Germany and Sweden. While in all these countries working mothers appear to dedicate less time to child care than non-working mothers, in Sweden the difference is smallest in absolute terms as well as statistically insignificant. In Italy maternal work is associated with the largest loss of maternal child care. To shed light on the possible reasons for this finding we consider the role of part-time job opportunities and formal or informal child care arrangements. We argue that while child care facilities increase mothers' access to employment, it is the availability of flexible working arrangements that allows them to work and still have enough time to allocate to child care.