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EFFECTS OF MATERNAL EMPLOYMENT ON CHILDREN

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EFFECTS OF MATERNAL EMPLOYMENT ON CHILDREN Families are the foundation of the society. The main function of the family is having and raising children. Having children not only expands families, it also strengthens and renews society. Parents’ greatest responsibility to society is socialization and well-being of children. It provides continuation and supports health of society. All members of the families are interdependent. As a result, mother’s choice to be employed directly affects ability of the family to insure well-being of children. There are several ways why and how maternal employment might influence children. Child well-being is a result of time and money investments made by parents. Money is needed to purchase items that are necessary for healthy development, such as school, medical care, educational toys, etc. Time investments in children can be quantitative - the amounts of time spent with children, and qualitative - what parents do with their children. Maternal employment is related to each of these investments in children. Money Investments There is strong evidence that growing up in poverty is harmful for children (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan, 1997). It is important to understand the proper role of maternal employment in reducing poverty. Encouraging or promoting maternal employment may be highly desirable for a number of reasons. For example, maternal employment provides economic well-being, children are socialized regarding appropriate adult role models, etc. At the same time, the patterns evident in the research suggest that policies whose aim is merely to "get people working" will not eliminate poverty unless the pay is sufficient to provide for the basic material needs of families and children (Lichter & Eggebeen, 19... ... middle of paper ... ... care for physical well-being of the child, there are substantial benefits of high quality child care. It benefits children’s learning, improves their confidence and peer relationships, and can help to break cycles of poverty (Coley, 2006). However, for several reasons many children are in care that is poor or mediocre quality. One of the reasons is affordability. High quality child care is costly and parents with limited income cannot afford to pay the market price for high quality care arrangements. Other reason is that parents' decision-making is constrained by the supply of care available (Waldfogel, 2002). The availability of more flexible childcare can be expected to improve both child well-being and child development, and make it easier for mothers to build the job tenure necessary for promotion to better paying standard hours jobs (Kimmel & Powell, 2006).
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