The educational gradient in women’s and men’s developmental childcare time in Germany

Florian Schulz, State Institute for Family Research (ifb) at the University of Bamberg
Henriette Engelhardt, University of Bamberg

In this paper, we analyze education effects on mothers’ and fathers’ developmental childcare time. Given demands and obligations in other spheres of life, the available time budget for children and joint activities with children are subject to attention as research has shown that parental time with young children is crucial for children’s development and educational success in later life. Research has further documented an increase in parental time with children over the last decades and a pronounced educational gradient. Using data of the two recent surveys of the German Time Use Study, we analyze these associations for Germany over a period of 10 years between 2001/2002 and 2012/2013. Time use is measured for primary activities of total childcare, talking to children, reading to children and managerial activities for children. In accordance with current studies for other countries, we show that there is a pronounced educational gradient for developmental childcare activities in Germany, although we find no educational gradient for total childcare time. We further replicate the common finding that women spend significantly more time with children, totally and on specific developmental activities. Surprisingly, men increased their budgets of reading time over the last 10 years to be no longer significantly different from women with lower education.

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Presented in Session 117: Child development