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Family proximity, childcare, and women's labor force attachment
Compton, Janice, January, 2014
Journal of Urban Economics, 79(), 72-90

We show that close geographical proximity to mothers or mothers-in-law has a substantial positive effect on the labor supply of married women with young children. We argue that the mechanism through which proximity increases labor supply is the availability of childcare. We interpret availability broadly enough to include not only regular scheduled childcare during work hours but also an insurance aspect of proximity (e.g., a mother or mother-in-law who can to provide irregular or unanticipated childcare). Using two large datasets, the National Survey of Families and Households and the public use files of the U.S. Census, we find that the predicted probability of employment and labor force participation is 4-10 percentage points higher for married women with young children living in close proximity to their mothers or their mothers-in-law compared with those living further away. (author abstract)

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The impact of grandparental investment on mothers' fertility intentions in four European countries
Tanskanen, Antti O., July-December 2014
Demographic Research, 31(), 1-26

Evolutionary theory predicts that grandparental investment should support the childbearing of adult children, but evidence from contemporary developed countries is mixed or relatively weak. One possible reason for this lack of clarity is that grandparental support for fertility may vary by country, the economic situation of the adult child's household, and the lineage and the sex of the grandparent. Objective We investigate the associations between grandparental investments and the intentions of mothers to have a second or third child in four European countries -- Bulgaria, France, Lithuania, and Norway -- while paying special attention to effect of the country, the financial security of the household, and the different grandparent types. Methods Using the first wave data (2004-08) of the Generations and Gender Surveys, we measured grandparental investment by the amount of child care help and emotional support mothers reported receiving from their parents. We studied these factors with binary logistic regression analysis. Results Both emotional support and child care help from grandparents were associated with increased fertility intentions in France and Norway. Emotional support was also associated with increased fertility intentions in Bulgaria, while grandparental child care help was associated with decreased intentions in Lithuania. Emotional support was more strongly associated with fertility intentions in financially secure households. Emotional support received from a maternal grandmother, a maternal grandfather, and a paternal grandmother; and child care help received from a maternal grandfather; were associated with an increased probability that a mother would report the intention to have another child. Conclusions Grandparental investment, especially emotional support, appears to be most influential in wealthier European countries and among more financially secure families. When a family's socioeconomic situation and the broader environment are generally favourable for having several children, grandparents may provide the "extra push" that supports the intention to have another child. (author abstract)

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School readiness for all: The contribution of family, friend, and neighbor care in Colorado
Colorado Family, Friend, and Neighbor Community, March, 2013
Denver, CO: Colorado Family, Friend, and Neighbor Learning Community.

Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) care refers to the network of relatives, close friends, and neighbors who are involved with parents in the care and education of young children. As detailed in this report, FFN care is a significant, but poorly understood, part of the early child care landscape in Colorado. This report attempts to build and frame a conversation about intentionally including FFN providers in Colorado's efforts to maximize the enrichment of early interactions for all of its children. Central to this conversation is respect for the choices of families of all incomes, backgrounds, races, and ethnicities who choose FFN care, often in spite of other options, for reasons that include trust, flexibility, and shared values. There is much we don't know about the contours of FFN care in Colorado. We do know that the need for and prevalence of FFN care in Colorado are substantial. We also know that FFN care is unique. Accordingly, the community- and relationship-centric supports its practitioners need to deliver the best quality of care to children might have less in common with the quality improvement processes in place for formal settings, and more in common with family support initiatives. Moreover, there is no "typical" FFN provider. The community of FFN providers is incredibly heterogeneous, with different needs and interests and divergent mechanisms for and comfort levels with connecting to the state's formal child care system. To better understand both the possibilities and the challenges, the FFN Learning Community convened eight community conversations with FFN providers in locations across Colorado, beginning in the fall of 2012. These conversations were supplemented by a limited sample of written surveys completed by FFN providers, primarily in the host communities. These community conversations were not designed or intended to be exhaustive. Rather, they provide an initial snapshot of the FFN landscape in Colorado based on an intentional effort to uncover, talk to, and understand the caregivers whose work often goes unacknowledged in national, state, and local discussions about child care and family support. This report captures those conversations and sets out recommendations for additional study and activity. It is organized in three parts. (author abstract)

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School readiness for all: The contribution of family, friend, and neighbor care in Colorado [Executive summary]
Colorado Family, Friend, and Neighbor Learning Community, March, 2013
Denver, CO: Colorado Family, Friend, and Neighbor Learning Community.

Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) care refers to the network of relatives, close friends, and neighbors who are involved with parents in the care and education of young children. As detailed in this report, FFN care is a significant, but poorly understood, part of the early child care landscape in Colorado. This report attempts to build and frame a conversation about intentionally including FFN providers in Colorado's efforts to maximize the enrichment of early interactions for all of its children. Central to this conversation is respect for the choices of families of all incomes, backgrounds, races, and ethnicities who choose FFN care, often in spite of other options, for reasons that include trust, flexibility, and shared values. There is much we don't know about the contours of FFN care in Colorado. We do know that the need for and prevalence of FFN care in Colorado are substantial. We also know that FFN care is unique. Accordingly, the community- and relationship-centric supports its practitioners need to deliver the best quality of care to children might have less in common with the quality improvement processes in place for formal settings, and more in common with family support initiatives. Moreover, there is no "typical" FFN provider. The community of FFN providers is incredibly heterogeneous, with different needs and interests and divergent mechanisms for and comfort levels with connecting to the state's formal child care system. To better understand both the possibilities and the challenges, the FFN Learning Community convened eight community conversations with FFN providers in locations across Colorado, beginning in the fall of 2012. These conversations were supplemented by a limited sample of written surveys completed by FFN providers, primarily in the host communities. These community conversations were not designed or intended to be exhaustive. Rather, they provide an initial snapshot of the FFN landscape in Colorado based on an intentional effort to uncover, talk to, and understand the caregivers whose work often goes unacknowledged in national, state, and local discussions about child care and family support. This report captures those conversations and sets out recommendations for additional study and activity. It is organized in three parts. (author abstract)

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Time to care: Generation generosity under pressure
Family and Childcare Trust, July, 2014
London: Family and Childcare Trust.

New research by Ipsos MORI, jointly commissioned by Grandparents Plus, Save the Children and the Family and Childcare Trust, investigates the impact of being a grandparent on people's attitudes and choices, and whether these are further influenced by the amount of time spent caring for their grandchildren. The research shows that, although being a grandparent in itself does not significantly influence people's actions and attitudes, being a grandparent who spends a substantial amount of time caring for grandchildren is often associated with different attitudes and behaviours. A key issue that arises from the polling is the considerable contribution that millions of grandparents are making to provide much needed informal childcare and financial support for their grandchildren. 1.9 million grandparents have given up a job, reduced their hours, or taken time off work, to look after their grandchildren. In some cases this means a loss in income. These statistics reflect the strength of grandparenting ties and challenge the notion that the extended family is no longer important. There is strong support among grandparents and the public for the extension of some workers' rights, currently available to parents, so grandparents are able to look after their grandchildren while remaining in work. There is also a clear need to increase the affordability of formal childcare to reduce the pressure on grandparents to fill the gap. (author abstract)

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Working with family, friend, and neighbor caregivers: Lessons from four diverse communities
Powell, Douglas R., May, 2011
Zero to Three, 31(5), 51-56

This project sought to identify and connect with, then survey the professional development needs of a sample of family, friend, and neighbor caregivers (FFN) serving four selected minority/disadvantaged communities in Minnesota. A focus group of caregivers was drawn from each of 1) an inner city neighborhood, 2) an urban Somali neighborhood, 3) a suburban Somali community, and 4) a Native American reservation. Recruitment efforts revealed that most FFN providers willing to participate had an existing connection to a formal support system for their caregiver role. Agency lists of unlicensed providers and the use of print-based community outreach materials did not always provide a path to caregivers, while word-of-mouth was relatively successful. Data were collected in the form of questionnaires, focus groups, home visits, and personal interactions with the caregivers. Issues regarding food, culture, and language were discovered to be of concern to the caregivers. The project's focus on infant and toddler care and management of infant temperaments was of particular interest to caregivers with experience caring for older children, but this finding was not universal. The authors found no single support need common to each group of caregivers (e.g. some providers were open to licensure training, while others had no interest in formalizing their role).

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Research Connections is supported by grant #90YE0104 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the National Center for Children in Poverty and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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