Mothers’ Nonstandard Work Schedules and the Care Arrangements of Young Children

Danielle A. Crosby, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Rachel Dunifon, Cornell University

This study provides new and timely information regarding associations between mothers’ nonstandard work hours and the care arrangements of very young children, for a large and diverse sample of families living in U.S. cities. Sixty percent of employed mothers in this sample report working at least some hours in the evenings, at night, on weekends, or on variable schedules. Regression models with extensive controls suggest that nonstandard schedules are associated with higher rates of home-based care, lower rates of center-based care, and a higher likelihood that children are in multiple arrangements. Moreover, we find that mothers working nonstandard hours encounter greater difficulties coordinating employment and child care than those working standard hours—they are more likely to report care arrangements falling through, missing work because of child care problems, difficulty finding care that matches their work schedule, and schedules creating stress for the family. Nighttime hours appear particularly problematic.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 87: Non-Standard Work Schedules and Family