Sharing Child Care in Early Parenthood
Originally published in 1987, Malcolm Hill examines the different ways in which parents share responsibility for looking after their pre-school children with other people, whether members of their social networks, formal groups or paid carers. He also looks at the reasons parents give for choosing and changing their particular arrangements. In this way he provides insights into a range of ideas which ordinary members of the public have about children’s needs; the rights and responsibilities of mothers and fathers; and how children think and feel.
Marked differences are described in the social relationships of families and in notions about who is acceptable as a substitute carer for children, in what circumstances and for what purpose. Several of these contrasts are linked to attitudes and life-conditions which are affected by social class.
The book identifies possible consequences for individual children’s social adaptability resulting from these patterns of care. It suggests that people working with the under-fives could profit from adapting their activities and services to children’s previous experiences of shared care and families’ differing expectations about groups for children.
Acknowledgments. Notes. 1. Introduction 2. Patterns of Shared Care 3. Processes of Sharing Care 4. Social Class, Area of Residence and Sharing Care 5. Families’ Social Networks 6. The Effects on Shared Care of Parents’ Life Experiences, Activities and Ideas 7. Parents’ Perceptions of Children, Children’s Characteristics and Shared Care 8. Discussion and Implications. Appendix: Research Questionnaire. Bibliography. Index.