Preferences of first-time expectant mothers for care of their child : 'I wouldn't leave them somewhere that made me feel insecure'
Keywords130100 EDUCATION SYSTEMS
170113 Social and Community Psychology
Childcare, Women in Paid Workforce
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AbstractAustralia has witnessed a continual increase in maternal employment over the past two decades, which places focus on both supply of childcare and a demand for high quality care. This study examined childcare preferences regarding the return to paid work of 124 Australian women who were expecting their first child. In contrast with most studies that have retrospective designs, the design of this study presents the perspectives of women prior to the birth of their first child-that is, before they have made a final decision about child care. This study found that the majority (78 per cent) of the women intended to re-commence work within the 12 months after the birth of their child. There were two factors that were the most salient features in their decision making-the quality of care and the personal satisfaction of engaging in paid work. The findings suggest that family friendly employment practices and access to secure, high-quality child care are key to women's secure participation in the paid workforce.