Relationship between childcare provision and maternal employment: Proximity of childcare facilities has no impact

The provision of childcare facilities close to the family home is not an effective tool in encouraging mothers of young children to return to work, according to a new study recently published by LISER.

Entitled, “Childcare, maternal employment and residential location,” the study aims to contribute to existing literature on childcare policies by focusing on one issue that has been ignored in previous research – the proximity of the childcare services to the family home.

"Over the years there has been a great deal of attention on the provision of affordable high quality childcare," says Audrey Bousselin, LISER researcher and the report’s author.  "But given that childcare is often highly subsidised, cost may not be the best way to promote the use of childcare and encourage maternal employment."

This study looks at the location of childcare services, as well as commuting time, and concludes that policies that make these services more widely available appear to be ineffective in encouraging the mothers of pre-school children to enter the labour market. Indeed, that they may potentially have an adverse impact. 

"It is likely that newly available childcare slots simply substitute for more informal arrangements. They tend to be allocated by giving priority to women already in the workforce and thus do not encourage any new entrants," explains Bousselin.

For further information contact: Audrey.bousselin @liser.lu

More information
— Posted on 20/04/2017
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