Parenting and Democracy in Contemporary Europe
Edited by David G. Mayes and Mark Thomson
In many European countries public child day-care is orientated towards older pre-school children and is usually organised on a part-time basis in order to support the (part-time) employment of one parent, especially the mother. The Nordic countries, however, are seen as ‘dual-earner’ societies (Korpi, 2000) where female labour force participation has been common for decades. Consequently, the public day-care system has been organized on a full-time basis, and conflict between work and family is not as evident as in many other welfare regime countries (Crompton and Lyonette, 2006). Conflict is still possible, especially when work in the contemporary labour market is more demanding and involves overtime hours, atypical working hours and temporary jobs. Balancing working life and family commitments is hence seen as a ‘new social risk’ (Taylor-Gooby, 2004). This risk is especially high for mothers who work on a full-time basis (see also Crompton and Lyonette, 2006). Informal childcare support is essential for many families with small children to help them meet their work and family responsibilities.
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