European Platform for Investing in Children helps identify 'practices that work' across member states
Dec 3, 2013
Most parents in Europe combine a variety of methods to reconcile their working lives with childcare duties, and their arrangements are related to their preferences, the age of their children, and the labour market opportunities to which they have access. These arrangements include formal childcare settings such as nurseries, preschools or registered child minders; informal arrangements where care is most often provided by grandparents or unregistered nannies, and parental leave arrangements.
Paternity and maternity leave provides opportunities for parents to provide their own childcare, though length of leave, compensation and the share of leave between parents varies considerably between EU Member States. At the same time women are much more likely to reduce their working hours in order to care for their children and assume childcare responsibilities than men. This is the main cause of low labour market inactivity and low female employment rates in Europe. High participation rates in formal childcare settings are however not a prerequisite for high levels of female market participation but it seems also questionable whether informal childcare is enough to support women's full-time labour market participation.