Grandparental care for pre-school children across Europe: the influence of grandparents’ characteristics and policy frameworks

Nada Stropnik, Institute for Economic Research, Slovenia
Andrej Srakar, Institute for Economic Research, Ljubljana

Research questions: What is the influence of policy frameworks (parental leave provisions and availability of formal childcare) on the frequency of looking after pre-school grandchildren by their grandparents across Europe? What characteristics of grandparents determine their lower or higher propensity to look after their pre-school grandchildren? Hypotheses: (1) Almost daily looking after pre-school grandchildren by their grandparents significantly decreases with the duration of well-paid post-natal leave and availability of formal childcare. (2) Almost daily looking after grandchildren aged 0-2 years is more frequent if the parental leave is not well paid than if it is well paid. (3) Almost daily looking after pre-school grandchildren by their grandparents is more frequent if the employment rate of mothers aged 25-49 years with a child below the age of 6 years is higher and the employment rate of women aged 50-64 years lower. Data for sixteen European countries will be used: a) the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (wave 4) microdata, and b) macro indicators on the post-natal duration of parental leave and the wage compensation (as provided by the International Network on Leave Policies & Research), the availability of formal childcare (OECD Family Database data on the share of pre-school children included in formal childcare), as well as employment rates of women (Eurostat data). Method: We will use multilevel logistic regression models to check our hypotheses. Contribution of new knowledge: Different from previous similar analyses of grandparents providing care for grandchildren, our research focuses on care for grandchildren of a pre-school age. The country coverage is also wider and different compared to previous research. We add a combination of the duration of post-natal leave and its payment to the factors influencing grandparental childcare.

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Presented in Session 53: Grandparenting