Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

Skip to main content

Who cares if parents have unpredictable work schedules?: The association between just-in-time work schedules and child care arrangements

Working parents must arrange some type of care for their young children when they are away at work. For parents with unstable and unpredictable work schedules, the logistics of arranging care can be complex. In this paper, we use survey data from the Shift Project, collected in 2017 and 2018 from a sample of 3,653 parents who balance work in the retail and food service sector with parenting young children 0 to 9 years of age. Our results demonstrate that unstable and unpredictable work schedules have consequences for children's care arrangements. We find that parents' exposure to on-call work and last-minute shift changes are associated with more numerous care arrangements, with a reliance on informal care arrangements, with the use of siblings to provide care, and with young children being left alone without adult supervision. Given the well-established relationship between quality of care in the early years and child development, just-in-time scheduling practices are likely to have consequences for child development and safety and to contribute to the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

- You May Also Like

These resources share similarities with the current selection. They are found by comparing the topic, author, and resource type of the currently selected resource to the rest of the library’s publications.

Measuring and comparing multiple dimensions of early care and education access

Reports & Papersview

Joint task force on access to quality affordable child care: Report pursuant to House Bill 2346 (2019)

Reports & Papersview

Early child care in single-parent and two-parent families: 2019

Reports & Papersview