Supporting gender equality and integration. Immigrant families’ child care choices in the Nordic policy context

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe201804036299

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Titel: Supporting gender equality and integration. Immigrant families’ child care choices in the Nordic policy context
Author: Tervola, Jussi
Tillhör serie: Studies in social security and health 149
ISSN: 1238-5050 (ISSN-L)
1238-5050 (print)
2323-7724 (pdf)
ISBN: 978-952-284-035-6 (print)
978-952-284-036-3 (pdf)
Abstrakt: Contemporary welfare states actively promote their key values and goals, such as gender equality and high employment. In family policy, these goals are pursued with allocated parental leave for both parents and subsidized day care services, for instance. However, it is known from previous research that parental leave is divided less equally between parents in immigrant families than in other families, and children with immigrant background participate less in centre-based day care despite the evidence that they would benefit from it the most. This study sets out to scrutinize immigrant families’ care choices and their determinants in Finland and Sweden. The study is based on comprehensive administrative register data, and the choices are observed from the take-up of different benefits. Economic and demographic factors are considered through regression analysis. Immigrant fathers in both Finland and Sweden show clearly lower take-up rates of paternity and parental leave than native-born fathers. Generally, though, the take-up rates of immigrant fathers are much higher in Sweden than in Finland, and the gap between the countries is largely traced back to differences in policy systems. However, the study also provides evidence that social norms play a role in fathers’ parental leave use, even between Finnish-born and Swedish-born fathers. Moreover, immigrant families’ choices between child home care and day care follow the pattern previously found in some European and US studies. In Finland, with strong policy support for both home and day care, immigrant families take care of their children at home longer than native-borns. However, after the child turns three, immigrants demonstrate an increasing preference for day care, even more so than native families. This may reflect immigrant-specific preferences for children’s integration and language acquisition. All in all, it seems that care choices in immigrant families have many distinct features compared to the majority families. Nevertheless, this study provides evidence that care choices can be steered and family policy goals approached through efficient and consistent policies also among immigrant populations.
Beskrivning: 165 pp.
Permanenta länken (URI): http://hdl.handle.net/10138/233985
URN:NBN:fi-fe201804036299
Datum: 2018
Subject: immigrants
families
integration
child care
parental leave
children
early childhood education and care
family policy
equality
equality policy
international comparison
Finland
Sweden
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