Kröger, Teppo (1); Chou, Yueh-Ching (2)
1: University of Jyvaskyla, Finland; 2: National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
This paper addresses the situation of mothers of young children in 12 cities in 12 nations (the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the UK and Taiwan). This is done through the concept of “care poverty” (Kröger 2010), which is defined as lack of necessary care. Care poverty implies that there is an imbalance concerning the needs and resources related to childcare at the level of individual families. Access to necessary care can be seen as a citizenship right and care poverty is here seen as a breach of that right, reflecting weakness of social citizenship of mothers. Data for this paper comes from the WP5 survey of the FLOWS project that was in 2012 conducted in 12 cities (Brno, Aalborg, Tartu, Jyväskylä, Nantes, Székesfehérvár, Hamburg, Dublin, Bologna, Terrassa, Leeds and Hsinchu). The FLOWS project was funded by FP7 and led by prof. Per Jensen. The analysis starts by outlining the prevalence of care poverty among families in the 12 cities. The main focus of the paper is on analyzing the connections between care poverty and socio-economic and other factors that are potential predictors of care poverty (e.g. age of children and age of the mother as well as family type). Which factors are most strongly associated with care poverty and are these variables the same in all cities or do national and local childcare policy models affect the situation? Furthermore, the paper also asks what kind of implications for work-care reconciliation does the presence or absence of care poverty bring to European (and Taiwanese) mothers? Does care poverty threaten the employment of mothers or are mothers, despite deficiencies in their childcare arrangements, still able to compose everyday life strategies that make it possible for them to take up paid work? Based on the analysis, the paper identifies factors that need to be addressed by policies, in order to reduce the prevalence and negative implications of care poverty among mothers of young children.