Families That Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment / Edition 1

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Overview

In many countries in Europe and in Canada, family leave policies grant parents paid time off to care for their young children, and labor market regulations go a long way toward ensuring that work does not overwhelm family obligations. In addition, early childhood education and care programs guarantee access to high-quality care for their children. In most of these countries, policies encourage gender equality by strengthening mothers' ties to employment and encouraging fathers to spend more time caregiving at home.

In sharp contrast, Gornick and Meyers show how in the United States - an economy with high labor force participation among both fathers and mothers - parents are left to craft private solutions to the society-wide dilemma of "who will care for the children?

Parents - overwhelmingly mothers - must loosen their ties to the workplace to care for their children; workers are forced to negotiate with their employers, often unsuccessfully, for family leave and reduced work schedules; and parents must purchase care of dubious quality, at high prices, from consumer markets. By leaving child care solutions up to hard-pressed working parents, these private solutions exact a high price in terms of gender inequality in the workplace and at home, family stress and economic insecurity, and - not least - child well-being. Gornick and Meyers show that it is possible - based on the experiences of other countries - to enhance child well-being and to increase gender equality by promoting more extensive and egalitarian family leave, work-time, and child care policies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871543561
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Authors
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Introduction: The Conflicts Between Earning and Caring 1
Ch. 2 The Changing American Family and the Problem of Private Solutions 24
Ch. 3 The United States in Cross-National Perspective: Are Parents and Children Doing Better Elsewhere? 58
Ch. 4 Reconciling the Conflicts: Toward a Dual-Earner - Dual-Carer Society 84
Ch. 5 Ensuring Time to Care During the Early Years: Family Leave Policy 112
Ch. 6 Strengthening Reduced-Hour Work: Regulation of Working Time 147
Ch. 7 Providing Public Care: Child Care, Preschool, and Public Schooling 185
Ch. 8 Does Policy Matter? Linking Policies to Outcomes 236
Ch. 9 Developing Earner-Carer Policies in the United States 268
App. A Description of Cross-National Data Sets Used 305
App. B Summary of Selected European Union Directives 309
App. C Construction of Policy Indexes 315
Notes 321
References 351
Index 381
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