Publication details

Paid home-based childcare in Slovakia : Informal markets and care loops



Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of European Social Policy
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Childcare workers; local care loop; paid home-based childcare; Slovakia; social policy
Attached files
Description Drawing on interviews conducted between 2013 and 2015 with childcare workers and their employers, this article focuses on the employment of paid home-based childcare in Slovakia, where local families prefer to employ local childcarers, rather than migrant childcarers. After a brief discussion of previous studies on home-based paid childcare and social policies, I introduce the concept of care loops and summarize family-oriented policies in Slovakia. I explain that relying on social networks and trust results in hiring local women rather than migrant childcarers. I then examine the motivations of working mothers for hiring childcare workers. I show how mothers use both structural (social policy) and cultural factors (ideals of motherhood and childrearing) to explain their childcare choices. I argue that hiring full-time childcare workers is both a way to fill the care gap and a response to a cultural preference for mother-like care for infants and toddlers. This cultural preference also results in hiring part-time childcare workers who are responsible for micromobilities of care and who help parents to manage care loops.
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