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Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1140-1161; doi:10.3390/socsci4041140

Finnish Mothers’ Assessments of the Harmfulness of Childcare at Home on Occupational Careers: A Comparison of Twelve European Countries

Department of Social Research, University of Turku, Assistentinkatu 7, Turku 20500, Finland
Academic Editor: Martin J. Bull
Received: 31 August 2015 / Revised: 23 October 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 25 November 2015
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Abstract

It is generally believed that long periods of childcare at home deteriorate mothers’ occupational careers. This study examined mothers’ experiences regarding negative career consequences of full-time care of children at home, and of part-time work due to childcare. The focus was on Finland, a country that provides all mothers a financially compensated, longer-term childcare leave linked with unrestricted access to day care services. Experiences of Finnish mothers were compared with experiences of mothers in 11 other European countries. The data were based on European Social Survey (ESS) round 2, conducted in 2004 and 2005. In all of the studied countries, the majority of mothers assessed that taking care of children at home had not harmed their occupational careers. There was, however, a clear cross-country variation. Perceived career consequences for both types of care at home were least common in Finland. In most of the investigated countries, longer times spent with children at home increased the probability to perceive negative career consequences. In Finland, the difference was relatively small. Thus, as long as the focus is on mothers’ perceptions, the longer-term childcare leave does not seem to markedly deteriorate Finnish mothers’ careers. View Full-Text
Keywords: career consequences; childcare policy; child home care; mothers; part-time work career consequences; childcare policy; child home care; mothers; part-time work
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Weckström, S. Finnish Mothers’ Assessments of the Harmfulness of Childcare at Home on Occupational Careers: A Comparison of Twelve European Countries. Soc. Sci. 2015, 4, 1140-1161.

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