Distrust in Day Care? Why German Mothers Remain in Part Time

Kerstin Ruckdeschel , Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)
Sabine Diabaté, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)

Looking at family lives and guiding role models of motherhood in Europe over the past decades, change is visible: Women are claiming economic independence through own gainful employment. In Germany this change is lately supported by family policy measures to expand childcare provision. Since 2013 there is a statutory entitlement on a place for children under three and the percentage of children in daycare is constantly rising. Nevertheless, public child care is not used by all parents equally even if places are available. Mothers are returning to work but remain mostly in part-time jobs. In particular there are large differences between East and West Germany which have different cultures concerning female employment and external childcare for historical reasons. We expect cultural barriers to play an important role why women return mostly to part-time employment in Germany, namely distrust in the quality of professional childcare and social norms about motherhood which do not accept mothers fulltime employment. In our paper we investigate the role these aspects play in the decision process. As further investment in early childcare is discussed the findings could be useful for policy makers. We use the survey “Familienleitbilder”, i.e. concepts of family in Germany which is designed as a panel study with n=5.000 respondents in wave 1 in 2012 and 1.858 respondents in wave 2 (2016). The survey offers information on individual and social norms concerning motherhood and child care as well as biographical information on the respondents. Regression analyses and fixed-effects models are calculated.

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 Presented in Session 49. Flash Session Policy and Practice