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Instability of work and care: How work schedules shape child-care arrangements for parents working in the service sector

Resource Type: Reports & Papers
Author(s): Carrillo, Dani; Harknett, Kristen; Logan, Allison; Luhr, Sigrid; Schneider, Daniel J. (Daniel Jonathan);
Date Issued: September, 2017
Description: Drawing on 25 in-depth interviews with parents employed in the service sector in the San Francisco Bay area, we find that meeting the demands of work and parenting almost invariably involved reliance on informal child care. We unpack the relationship between work schedules and specific constellations of informal child care. We show that the stability and predictability of work schedules shaped child-care arrangements. Working parents with stable, although frequently nonstandard, schedules often managed child care using a tag team parenting approach. Those with unstable schedules often engaged in a child-care scramble, in which care arrangements were pieced together on an ad hoc basis. Some parents with unstable work schedules avoided child-care instability by relying heavily on one family anchor who could consistently provide child care. On-call family support can sometimes buffer against the instability created by unstable and unpredictable work schedules, but instability in work schedules often reproduces instability at home. (author abstract)
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Funder(s): Berkeley Population Center ; Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline ; University of California, Berkeley. Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
Journal Title: Social Service Review
Volume Number: 91
Issue Number: 3
Page Range: 422-455
Topics: Parents & Families > Selection Of Child Care & Early Education Arrangements

Parents & Families > Parent/Family Practices and Structure > Families & Work
Country: United States
States: CALIFORNIA
ISSN: 1537-5404 Online
0037-7961 Paper
Peer Reviewed: yes
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