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Complex Decisions between Care and Paid Work : A Qualitative Study on the Demand for Childcare Services in Mexico City (Inglês)

This study aims to improve the understanding of the barriers and enabling factors determining the demand for childcare in Mexico City. The study is based on focus group discussions and individual in-depth interviews with mothers and fathers (married or living in a union) of children ages zero to six years. The findings of this qualitative analysis confirm that for parents in Mexico City, decisions in favor of or against the use of childcare are based on: (1) the interplay between women's aspirations, the role of work in their lives, and the additional support they have; and (2) their perceptions of the care available, including convenience, overall quality, perceived opportunities for positive child development, and financial and non-financial costs (safety and risks to the child’s well-being). The findings suggest that significant differences exist between women with higher education and those with lower levels of education living in different parts of the city (and from different socioeconomic backgrounds: middle-class vis-a-vis vulnerable women). The observed gaps are due to differences in their ability to make informed choices, their aspirations and work opportunities, the alternative support options available to them, and their ability to adapt to the childcare supply. These results highlight the relevance of: (1) promoting a more balanced distribution of childcare responsibilities between men and women; (2) communicating more transparently the benefits of using childcare services and the measures taken to ensure the safety and positive development of children; and (3) adapting the childcare centers' functioning to the needs of working parents.


  • Autor

    Muller,Miriam, Jaen,Martha

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    Documento de trabalho sobre pesquisa de políticas

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    América Latina e Caribe,

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  • Nome do documento

    Complex Decisions between Care and Paid Work : A Qualitative Study on the Demand for Childcare Services in Mexico City

  • Palavras-chave

    Poverty and Equity; female labor force participation; childcare services; higher level of education; lower level of education; children start primary school; good quality of life; childcare center; Early childhood education; care of child; feelings of guilt; vulnerable group; care for child; impact on productivity; participation of male; single father family; decline of fertility; increase in income; Access to Education; source of income; cost housing; Poverty & Inequality; cost of housing; standard of living; source income; informal economic sector; contribution of women; female labor supply; children at home; quality and quantity; equity in access; enforcement of labor; violence against child; opportunity for child; lack of demand; complete secondary education; capacity in place; Higher Education; Labor Market; domestic worker; young child; gender norm; Basic Education; job opportunity; vulnerable woman; job opportunities; middle class; focus group; qualitative research; social group; educated woman; alternative care; formal sector; participation rate; working class; maternity leave; legal framework; economic stability; adequate remuneration; low-income household; labor participation; vulnerable family; domestic support; professional development; maternal employment; children's development; academic performance; cognitive stimulation; Informal Jobs; cultural factor; economic independence; living condition; increased access; methodological approach; remedial education; preprimary program; traditional values; domestic activity; financial resource; time constraint; skilled woman; part-time employment; selection criterion; income opportunity; care options; vulnerable sector; cost-benefit analysis; informal rule; early age; metropolitan area; small sample; personal decisions; sensitive topics; work experience; data processing; geographic area; qualitative study; ethical standard; teaching staff; job satisfaction; family life; university study; analysis process; child abuse; surveillance mechanism; social strata; Research Support; work schedule; flexible hour; working woman; unpaid work; learning opportunity; public policy; security cost; domestic help; both sexes; heavy burden; family dynamic; male participation; qualitative analysis; emotional development; adaptation process; public space; Urban Violence; children of ages; informed choice; stable job; recent past; safety measure; income areas; child safety; limited resources; open access; development policy; research participant; Financial Stability; preschool child; parental leave; positive impact; leave policy; working age; female employment; recent progress; young age; job insecurity; primary school facility; in work; sustained access; personal development; primary level; necessary skill; global trend; later marriage; extreme poverty; wage employment; financially independent; household income; residential area; single person



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