Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Childcare provision is not geared to realities of modern working life

24.01.2005


For most of the growing number of women who go out to work, organising childcare for young children is a highly complicated process in which the slightest disruption is likely to cause a crisis, according to new research sponsored by the ESRC.

Among big city-dwellers, pre-school arrangements - even for the most affluent households - involve careful scheduling in time and travel, typically using three or four different types of regular care, says the study, led at University College, London, by Professor Linda McDowell. For many families, jobs have become increasingly insecure, temporary or casual, and the hours demanded have either increased or become less regular in terms of day and night shifts and the working week, says the report. The growing dominance of low-paid service sector work makes it increasingly difficult to have reasonable living standards from a single wage, so forcing many working class couples to have two or more jobs in order to survive.

This study examined, among other things, who does what in the home when both partners are working. And it investigated how childcare is arranged and managed if parents work shifts. Focussing on younger families in two major centres – London and Manchester – the study found that while men are getting more involved in domestic tasks, in most cases it is still women who bear the brunt. And it is mostly women who sort out the details of how they and their children get to and from various workplaces, schools, social services, play areas and other often widely-spread sites.



Women are most often responsible for organising and scheduling domestic tasks, even among the more affluent, who can pay others to do things for them. But while women organised care whether they lived in London or Manchester, and regardless of their social class or neighbourhood, there were differences between and within the cities in the jobs people did and how they sorted out childcare. Single parents, for example, are less likely to be in waged work in London as the costs of childcare are prohibitive. When it comes to working and finding someone to look after small children, the study says it is clear that current policies fail to take the complexity of the modern situation into account.

Professor McDowell said: "We need to think about the ways in which different forms of care might be made more compatible and accessible, whether in terms of hours of provision, costs, or location in a neighbourhood. "For many of those we interviewed, cost as well as quality is a key issue. High quality care is expensive, especially in London, and there are implications in this not only for individual parents but for those who offer a service. "As other research has revealed, new nursery places are often short-lived as local parents cannot afford the high costs, especially when the quality of staff which most parents want tends to raise the price beyond their reach."

More women in better-off households are going to work, mostly full-time, as higher and further education opens up new opportunities. But the study found a growing difference between their living standards and those of women at the other end of the scale. And this difference is becoming more polarised as the service sector expands. It is also clear that many women, in all social classes, have interrupted working lives, with longer-scale implications for their financial independence and later for their pension provision.

Becky Gammon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>