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Convergence or Divergence? Educational Discrepancies in Work-Care Arrangements of Mothers with Young Children in Germany

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Pia S. Schober, Juliane F. Stahl

In: Work, Employment and Society 32 (2018), 4, S. 629-649


This study examines how educational differences in work-care patterns among mothers with young children in Germany changed between 1997 and 2013. Since the mid-2000s, Germany has undergone a paradigm shift in parental leave and childcare policies. Our comparative analysis of East and West Germany provides new evidence on whether the long-standing gender regime differences interact with recent developments of social class inequalities in the changing family policy context. The analyses include pooled binary and multinomial logistic regressions based on 17,764 observations of 8604 children below the age of three years from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). The findings point to growing educational divergence in work-care arrangements in East and West Germany: employment and day-care use increased more strongly among families with medium and highly educated mothers compared to those with low education. This has critical implications for the latter’s economic security. The decline in the use of informal childcare options was, however, fairly homogenous.

Keywords: childcare, early childhood, educational inequality, familialism, family policy, Germany, maternal employment, time trends

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