Choosing work and care : four Australian women negotiating return to paid work in the first year of motherhood

Boyd, Wendy, Walker, Susan, & Thorpe, Karen (2013) Choosing work and care : four Australian women negotiating return to paid work in the first year of motherhood. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 14(2), pp. 168-178.

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Australian women make decisions about return to paid work and care for their child within a policy environment that presents mixed messages about maternal employment and child care standards. Against this background an investigation of first-time mothers’ decision-making about workforce participation and child care was undertaken. Four women were studied from pregnancy through the first postnatal year using interview and diary methods. Inductive analyses identified three themes, all focused on dimensions of family security: financial security relating to family income, emotional security relating to child care quality, and pragmatic security relating to child care access. The current policy changes that aim to increase child care quality standards in Australia present a positive step toward alleviating family insecurities but are insufficient to alleviate the evidently high levels of tension between workforce participation and family life experienced by women transitioning back into the workforce in Australia.

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ID Code: 50681
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Child Care, Maternal Employment
DOI: 10.2304/ciec.2013.14.2.168
ISSN: 1463-9491
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Symposium Journals
Deposited On: 31 May 2012 21:41
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2013 02:27

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