Gluing, catching and connecting: how informal childcare strengthens single mothersâ€™ employment trajectories
Work, Employment & Society, 2016, vol. 30, issue 5, 821-837
Research on single mothersâ€™ 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 mothersâ€™ employment we must consider their access to and use of multiple forms of childcare â€“ their childcare packages â€“ and how these change over time. Drawing on a longitudinal qualitative study and employing the concepts of â€˜caringscapesâ€™ and â€˜work-time/childcare-timeâ€™, this article highlights how childcare packages shape single mothersâ€™ employment trajectories. Informal carers play a crucial role within mixed (formal and informal) childcare packages in helping mothers bring childrenâ€™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) â€˜gluingâ€™ together complex jigsaws of care; (3) offering a â€˜safety netâ€™ in times of crisis; and (4) playing a â€˜connectorâ€™ role during employment transitions.
Keywords: childcare; child care; employment; informal care; lifecourse; lone mothers; qualitative longitudinal; single mothers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:woemps:v:30:y:2016:i:5:p:821-837
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