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Title:The impact of after-school childcare arrangements on the developmental outcomes of low-income children and the labor conditions of their working mothers
Author(s):Park, Hyejoon
Director of Research:Zhan, Min
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Zhan, Min
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Wu, Chi-Fang; Tabb Dina, Karen; Yoon, Jina
Department / Program:School of Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):After-school childcare arrangements
after-school programs
relative care
child development
low-income children
working mothers
labor conditions
Abstract:While working mothers with school-aged children make up 78.6% labor force, finding suitable, available, affordable childcare is still significant challenge. Even though after-school programs (hereafter ASPs) and other types of childcare arrangements have been implemented, childcare for school-aged children remains a patchwork made of up ASPs, relative care, parental care, and self-care, with many families opting to use some combination of all of these. Few studies have examined the impact of various childcare arrangements for school-aged children on other family outcomes, including mothers' labor conditions. Furthermore, most existing studies focus on structured childcare settings, including center-based care and after-school programs; only a few studies have looked at the effects of informal care, including parental care, relative care, self-care, and a combination of care types on child outcomes. In addition, few studies have examined how mothers’ labor conditions differ by different types of childcare settings and whether race/ethnicity plays a moderating role in the relationship between childcare settings and mothers' labor conditions. This study aims to fill these gaps by addressing three research goals: The first goal is to examine whether five different types of after-school childcare settings (after-school programs, self-care, parental care, relative care, and a combination of care) are associated with different academic and behavioral outcomes for low-income school-aged children. The second goal is to examine whether the five different types of after-school childcare settings impact low-income working mothers' labor conditions (working hours, working months, job-shift and training/schools availabilities).The third goal is to investigate whether mothers' race/ethnicity moderates the association between different types of childcare arrangements and working mothers' labor conditions. Employing Bloom's Model of Learning Theory and Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory, it was hypothesized that ASPs will be positively associated with children's academic and behavioral outcomes. In addition, it was hypothesized that based on the concept of maternal deviancy, relative care will be positively associated with low-income mothers' labor conditions, in particular, ethnic-minority (African American, Hispanic/Latina) mothers' labor conditions. The present study utilized National Household Education Survey Programs: After-School Programs and Activities (2005) (NHES: ASPA) and use binary logistic and Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression analyses. Sample units (N= 717) were low-income households including working mothers and school-aged children in any of five different types of childcare arrangements. The study examined one independent variable — five different types of after-school childcare arrangements (ASPs, parental, self-, relative, some combination of care) and several dependent variables, which measure children’s academic (academic scores, schoolwork problems) and behavioral (behavioral and school behavioral problems) areas and mothers' labor conditions (working hours and months, regular job shift and training/school availabilities). The study was further developed by the examination of whether race/ethnicity was a moderator affecting the relationship between the independent variable and dependent variable (mothers' labor conditions). Findings from the study indicate that compared to children in ASPs, those in relative care and parental care had better academic performance (fewer schoolwork problems). Parental care was also positively associated with children’s behavioral outcomes (fewer behavioral problems). Furthermore, relative care was positively related to mothers' working hours for all groups and to number of months worked for Hispanic/Latina mothers. The study's demonstration of a positive association between relative care and both child outcomes and mother's labor conditions suggests a need for more federal and state subsidies for working families using relative care, as well as for financial incentives for relatives who commit their time and effort to childcare. At the same time, the need remains to improve the quality and increase the number of ASPs in economically disadvantaged communities for parents who cannot access relative care or parental care (spouse care). The study results also indicate the need of theoretical development that could help explain how different childcare arrangements influence low-income working mothers' labor conditions and their children’s developmental outcomes.
Issue Date:2016-01-11
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Hyejoon Park
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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