Childcare practices of Polish Migrants in the Netherlands: Comparison with the countries of origin and destination

Alzbeta Bartova, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Kasia Karpinska, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Both formal and informal types of child care have been identified as important sources of support for working parents and especially women. However, little is known about the way migrant families combine their work and family responsibilities in a context of absent or limited social support network. We explore this issue on an example of Polish migrant parents living in the Netherlands and compare their practices to those of their Dutch and Polish counterparts in the Netherlands and Poland. The aim of our research is to investigate whether migrant parents adapt to the new institutional context, draw on the childcare norms of their home country, or whether they adopt a unique strategy that reflects their specific position of migrants.To answer the research questions posed in this study, we employed the Gender and Generations Surveys (GGS) for Poland and the Netherlands, and complemented them with the Families of Poles in the Netherland data. The FPN data were collected between October 2014 and April 2015 among recent registered Polish migrants aged 18-59. The blueprint of the FPN survey is the 2015 questionnaire of the GGS, which facilitates the comparison. We found support for all of the three hypotheses and showed that the childcare practices of Polish parents living in the Netherlands are highly dependent on the age of the youngest child. We also found that the migrants’ orientation towards the host country can be an important predictor of their childcare strategies when the children are very young.

Both formal and informal types of child care have been identified as important sources of support for working parents and especially women. However, little is known about the way migrant families combine their work and family responsibilities in a context of absent or limited social support network. We explore this issue on an example of Polish migrant parents living in the Netherlands and compare their practices to those of their Dutch and Polish counterparts in the Netherlands and Poland. The aim of our research is to investigate whether migrant parents adapt to the new institutional context, draw on the childcare norms of their home country, or whether they adopt a unique strategy that reflects their specific position of migrants.To answer the research questions posed in this study, we employed the Gender and Generations Surveys (GGS) for Poland and the Netherlands, and complemented them with the Families of Poles in the Netherland data. The FPN data were collected between October 2014 and April 2015 among recent registered Polish migrants aged 18-59. The blueprint of the FPN survey is the 2015 questionnaire of the GGS, which facilitates the comparison. We found support for all of the three hypotheses and showed that the childcare practices of Polish parents living in the Netherlands are highly dependent on the age of the youngest child. We also found that the migrants’ orientation towards the host country can be an important predictor of their childcare strategies when the children are very young.

Presented in Session 1088: International Migration and Migrant Populations