The Timing and Intensity of Maternal Employment in Early Childhood: Implications for Canadian Children
- 544 Downloads
This study focused on the associations between timing and intensity of maternal employment in early childhood and the developmental outcomes of young Canadian children. We conducted a secondary analysis of data from the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth using multiple linear regression. We tested the associations between mothers’ employment in the first four years of children’s lives and motor and social development of zero to 4-year-old-children and receptive language of 4 and 5-year-old-children. We also examined the association between working more than 20 h a week during the first 2 years of children’s lives and children’s outcomes. We found that mothers who returned to work when their children were between 0 and 4 years old had enhanced motor and social development in comparison to children of mothers who did not work during this time. Additionally, findings showed that relative to children of mothers who worked 20 h or less a week in the first 2 years of their children’s lives, in particular between 12 and 17 months, children of mothers who worked more than 20 h had lower receptive language scores at 4 and 5 years of age. These findings have implications for maternity and parental leave policy in Canada.
KeywordsMaternal employment Hours worked Motor and social development Receptive vocabulary Maternity/parental leave
This research was supported by funds to the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN) from the Social Science and Humanities research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Statistics Canada. Although the research and analysis are based on data from Statistics Canada, the opinions expressed do not represent the views of Statistics Canada or the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Baker, M. (2006). Restructuring family policies. Convergences & divergences. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
- Baker, P. C. & Mott, F. L. (1989). NLSY child handbook 1989: A guide and resource document for the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1986 child data. Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio State University, Center for Human Resource Research.Google Scholar
- Bernard, J. Y., De Agostini, M., Forhan, A., Alfaiate, T., Bonet, M., Champion, V., Kaminski, M., de Lauzon-Guillain, B., Charles, M., & Heude, B., EDEN Mother-Child Cohort Study Group. (2013). Breastfeeding duration and cognitive development at 2 and 3 years of aged in the EDEN mother-child cohort. The Journal of Pediatrics, 163, 36–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Boyd, W., Thorpe, K., & Tayler, C. (2010). Preferences of first-time expectant mothers for care of their child: “I wouldn’t leave them somewhere that made me feel in secure.” Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 35, 4–12.Google Scholar
- Bronars, S. G., & Grogger, J. (1994). The economic consequences of unwed motherhood: Using twin births as a natural experiment. American Economic Review, 84, 1141–1156.Google Scholar
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor (2011). NLSY79 children and young adults. http://www.bls.gov/nls/nlsy79ch.htm.
- Carlson, K. B. (2012). Career and family: Why is it still so hard for women to have both. National Post, p. 1. http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/10/13/career-and-family-why-is-it-still-so-hard-for-women-to-have-both/.
- Cooksey, E., Joshi, H., & Verropoulou, G. (2009). Does mothers’ employment affect children’s development? Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 1, 95–115.Google Scholar
- Dunn, L. M., & Dunn, L. M. (1981). Peabody picture vocabulary test (revised). Circle Pines, Minnesota: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
- Eichler, L. (2013). Secrets of the happiest working moms. Together Magazine, p. 1. http://togethermoms.ca/secrets-of-the-happiest-working-moms/.
- Ferrao, V. (2010). Women in Canada: A gender-based statistical report. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. Paid work (Catalogue No. 89-503-X).Google Scholar
- Harris, N. (2008). Women’s reflections on choosing quality long day care in a regional community. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 33, 42–49.Google Scholar
- Hertzman, C. (2000). The case for an early childhood development strategy. Isuma, 1, 11–18.Google Scholar
- Huerta, M. C., Adema, W., Baxter, J., Corak, M., Deding, M., Gray, M. C., & Waldfogel, J. (2011). Early maternal employment and child development in five OECD countries. OECD Social, Employment, and Migration Working Papers (No. 118). OECD Publishing, Paris, France.Google Scholar
- Laughlin, L. (2011). Maternity leave and employment patterns of first-time mothers: 1961-2008. Washington: U.S. Census Bureau.Google Scholar
- Lethbridge, L. (2010). Two SAS bootstrapping programs. http://www.shrugonline.ca/downloads/20101125/Bootstrapping.ppt.
- Lombardi, C. M., & Coley, R. L. (2016). Early maternal employment and children’s academic and behavioral skills in Australia and the United Kingdom. Child Development. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12588.
- Moss, P. (2013). International review of leave policies and related research 2013. http://www.leavenetwork.org/lp_and_r_reports/.
- Mott, F. L., Baker, P. C., Ball, D. E., Keck, C. K., & Lenhart, S. M. (1995). The NLSY children 1992: Description and evaluation. Revise March 1998. Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio State University, Center for Human Resource Research.Google Scholar
- The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (2017a). Parental benefit—general information. (n.d.a.) https://www.nav.no/In+English.
- The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (2017b). Can I work while claiming parental benefit? (n.d.b.) https://www.nav.no/English/English/Can+I+work+while+claiming+parental+benefit%3F.241312.cms.
- O’Connor, C., & Wright, A. (2013). Female career progression and maternity leave: An Irish exploration. Business and Economic Research, 3, 322–343.Google Scholar
- Poe, G. (1986). Design and procedures for the 1981 child health supplement to the National Interview Survey. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Centre for Health Statistics. Working paper services.Google Scholar
- Rønsen, M., & Kitterød, R. H. (2012). Entry into work following childbirth among mothers in Norway: Recent trends and variation. Oslo: Statistics Norway.Google Scholar
- Service Canada (2014). Employment insurance maternity and parental benefits. http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/types/maternity_parental.shtml#much.
- Shonkoff, J. P., & Phillips, D. A. (2000). From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development. Washington: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- Slaughter, A. (2012). Why women can’t have it all. The Atlantic, p. 1. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-cant-have-it-all/309020/.
- Statistics Canada. (1996). National longitudinal survey of children: Survey instruments for 1994-95 data collection—cycle. Ottawa: Statistics Canada 1.Google Scholar
- Statistics Canada. (2006). Low income cut-offs for 2005 ad low income measures for 2004. (Catalogue no. 75F0002MIE). Ottawa: Statistics Canada.Google Scholar
- Statistics Canada. (2010). National longitudinal survey of children and youth, cycle 8, user guide. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.Google Scholar
- Statistics Canada. (2017). Microdata user guide, national longitudinal survey of children and youth, cycle 6, September 2004 to June 2005. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. (n.d.).Google Scholar