Scrambling for Stability: The Challenges of Job Schedule Volatility and Child Care

Source: Liz Ben-Ishai, Hannah Matthews, Jodie Levin-Epstein, Center for Law and Social Policy, March 2014

From the summary:
… Today, CLASP released a new brief that explores the relationship between job scheduling and child care. Scrambling for Stability: The Challenges of Job Schedule Volatility and Child Care lays out the difficulties many low-income parents face as they navigate the mazes of volatile job schedules and child care simultaneously. A growing number of workers have hours that fluctuate from week to week, unpredictable schedules, and minimal control over their hours. These workers are disproportionately earning lower wages. They work in sectors like retail and food service, which are among the fastest growing fields in our economy. At the same time, it is challenging for child care providers to accommodate parents with volatile schedules. As a result, parents like Karen are left to piece together a patchwork of care arrangements, resulting in instability for their children.

Parents facing scheduling and child care challenges experience heightened economic insecurity when these two issues collide. They may have difficulty getting and keeping child care subsidies and may risk their jobs when problems securing child care force them to miss work.

The new CLASP brief offers a list of potential action steps, including public policies to increase job schedule predictability and stability and create more flexible child care subsidy options among others. Moreover, while Scrambling for Stability highlights important existing research, it also identifies the need for more research and data collection to better inform future policy work and advocacy….