Do Parents Share Child-care, Australian Study Makes an Interesting Discovery

by Savitha C Muppala on  June 30, 2008 at 4:01 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
 Do Parents Share Child-care, Australian Study Makes an Interesting Discovery
More numbers of working parents are managing child care by themselves rather than seek the services of formal childcare, with the onus of childcare shifting to the mother finds a research from the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Nearly one-third of families where the couple is both working and have young children opt for parent-only-care, achieved by the mother working a 16 hour day, taking care of the baby as well as manage a job with flexible work from home option.

The study titled, 'Parent-only care: a childcare choice for working couple families', basically drives home the point, that child care by parents is often wrongly assumed as equally shared between the parents, when in reality it is quite the opposite.

"While this occurs in some families, in others it appears that mothers continue to take on the primary role of carer in the family while also taking on paid employment. In dual-employed families, there was little difference in the extent which fathers regularly provided care between those who did and did not use non-parental care (57 per cent and 53 per cent respectively)."

Studying the data from the AIFS Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, the researchers found that fathers happened to share the responsibility of child care more when the mother worked during odd hours, night shifts or during weekends.

To quote the report, "Night/evening work by the mother was associated with an 8per cent increase in the probability of the father regularly providing care, and working weekends with a 14 per cent increase."

Matthew Gray, AIFS deputy director and the report's co-author, said "Bookkeeping, typing, editing work, these are the types of things women do from home while their infant is with them."

Those women who were at a senior level opted for formal child care as their jobs were better paying and did not afford them the flexibility of part-time or work from home options.

Source: Medindia

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I am glad childcare is recognized as care of the child, wherever it happens. The state must recognize it is vital work wherever it is done. Funding assistance should not depend on gender or family status of caregiver. Let parents work out themselves whether it is mom or dad, grandma or a sitter, neighbor or formal centre. In that way women are not conflicted since both their paid work and their care work are valued.
guest Tuesday, July 1, 2008

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