Lone parents and employment
An exploration of findings from the Families and Children Study 2006-08
Published: December 2010
To explore the factors and attitudes that affect lone mothers’ entry into work and work retention.
Mothers who view parenting as a job are less likely to move into work
- Mothers who view parenting as a job and as something they’ve chosen are less likely to intend to work in the next 12 months.
- Mothers who haven’t been in paid employment in the past two years hold more pro-parenting attitudes and are less likely to express positive attitudes towards combining work and parenting.
- Mothers who want to work are more likely to feel motivated to combine work and parenting. These attitudes are associated with the view that staying at home is socially stigmatising.
- Mothers who move into work subsequently express more positive attitudes towards combining work and parenting.
Mother with health problems/disabilities more likely to feel ‘stay at home’ stigma
- Mothers with a health problem or disability are more likely to feel that there is a stigma attached to staying at home.
Mothers’ work attitudes are affected by the age of their children
- Mothers with older children are more likely to express work-oriented attitudes and intend to work in the next 12 months.
- Mothers with younger children are more likely to express more parenting-oriented attitudes.
- Mothers whose youngest child is aged 7-10 are more likely than mothers with babies to enter work, unlike mothers with children in other age groups.
Using formal, or a combination of formal and informal, childcare makes returning to work more likely
- Mothers who use formal childcare, or a combination of formal and informal childcare, are more likely to enter into work.
- Mothers who use both formal and informal childcare are more likely to retain the work they have entered into.
- Mothers who use informal childcare only are more likely to intend to work
Analysis of data collected from the ‘Choices and Constraints’ questions on the Families and Children Study.
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