Access to and Perceived Quality of Childcare (and elder care) in Europe

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 12:10 PM
Room: 302
Distributed Paper
Michaela GSTREIN , Economics and Finance, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria
Petra RODIGA-LASSNIG , Economics and Finance, Institute for Advanced Studies Carinthia, Klagenfurt, Austria
The reconciliation of work, family and private life has become one of the main challenges for younger and older families in Europe today. Access to affordable and good quality childcare is essential in removing barriers to parent’s (especially women’s) labour market participation, as is ‘ensuring effective access to affordable, quality early childhood education and care for all families that also fits to the increasingly diverse working patterns’ (European Commission, 2013). The same applies to elder care, which is an important service in connection with generally longer life spans, population ageing and the increasing labour market activity of women.

Our paper’s research was funded and done for the European Foundation of Living and Working Conditions in Dublin (Eurofound) and is based on Eurofound’s EQLS3 data set, a European quality of life survey which was run in 2011/12. It investigates perceived access to and perceived quality of childcare and elder(also known as long-term) care services in Europe as a whole and in different EU member states and how the availability of such services is related to (female) labour market participation. In order to investigate the determinants of perceived quality of childcare and elder care services, we use multi-level analysis with grand mean centering (Hox, 2010). The model takes into account not only individual but also country-related factors, thus investigating the impact of age, gender, number of children, household’s financial situation, overall life satisfaction, female employment rate, being employed, rural or urban living area, satisfaction with economic situation of one’s country, level of corruption, etc.