Availability and Uptake of (in)Formal Childcare in Belgium
Naomi Biegel, University of Antwerp
Karel Neels, University of Antwerp
The aim of the present paper is to investigate the uptake of both formal and informal childcare, while controlling for availability of both formal childcare arrangements at the municipality level and the availability of grandparents. This allows us to gain better insight into the variety of childcare strategies employed by parents and how these depend upon both demand-side characteristics and supply-side characteristics of formal and informal childcare.
Using linked Belgian census data from the 1991 and 2001 censuses, this papers follows young adults as they move out of the parental household and set up independent households. This linkage allows us to model uptake of (in)formal childcare arrangements in 2001, controlling for individual and household-level characteristics, as well as proximity and characteristics of grandparents. Additionally we include contextual data on availability and characteristics of formal childcare arrangements at the municipality level.
While the existing empirical literature on uptake of informal childcare arrangements acknowledges the importance of the availability of formal childcare services and vice versa, it has typically not been able to simultaneously control for both demand-side characteristics and supply-side characteristics of formal and informal childcare.