This chapter is concerned with the final family type in our Lifecourse Stages framework, lone parents. Lone parents can have either dependent children or non-dependent children living with them. Those with dependent children will presumably face the same variety of circumstances in relation to childcare as those that are faced by couple families with children. Some may use formal childcare. Others may use informal childcare. Those that use informal childcare may use non-dependent children or relatives in this capacity. Some lone parents may not be able to access either formal or informal childcare. The presence of children and the availability and actual use of childcare are expected to impact lone parent’s time allocations in major ways, perhaps more so than was the case with couple families who have children — in couple families with children there are two parents on hand to deal with the responsibilities of looking after children, compared to just the one parent in the lone parents group.1
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