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Transitions to parenthood in EuropeA comparative life course perspective$
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Ann Nilsen, Julia Brannen, and Suzan Lewis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428646

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428646.001.0001

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Supports and constraints for parents: a gendered cross-national perspective

Supports and constraints for parents: a gendered cross-national perspective

(p.89) Six Supports and constraints for parents: a gendered cross-national perspective
Transitions to parenthood in Europe

Janet Smithson

Suzan Lewis

Siyka Kovacheva

Laura den Dulk

Bram Peper

Anneke van Doorne-Huiskes

Policy Press

The chapter adopts a thematic approach. It considers the range of resources available for working parents in the seven national contexts each with different levels of public and private support, working hours and childcare. It provides a systematic overview of the types and sources of support for working parents. It demonstrates how different working hours regimes, forms of formal and informal childcare, and systems of leave create complex webs of support. Organisational context is shown to be crucial, not only the existence of formal policies, but also relational support and workplace culture and practices on parents' understandings and take-up of the support, and the constraints in countries with discretionary policies. Childcare is variously considered a private, a family or a public concern, in the different national contexts. It shows how these national assumptions and practices affect working hours, feelings of entitlement to support and gendered experiences of constraints or support.

Keywords:   working parents, childcare, organisational culture, gender, cross-national

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