Grandparenting in Europe 2013- who are the grandparents provoding childcare?

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Grandparenting in Europe produced for Grandparents Plus by the Institute for Gerontology at King’s College London, shows that over 40% of grandparents in 12 European countries studied provide child care. This major new research shows a direct relationship between grandparents caring and the availability of affordable formal childcare and support for parents. It points to an emerging childcare crisis as the very grandmothers who are providing care are being expected by governments to stay in work longer.

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  • How grandparent policy regimes related to diversity in grandparenting
  • Gulbenkian funded scoping study which is phase I.
  • Based on data from 12 European countries, the new research shows that 63% of people in England over 50 are grandparents, similar to France (and Austria), but more than in Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Only Belgium, Denmark and Sweden have a higher percentage of older people who are grandparents.
    For example, the odds of older people being a grandparent in England are around 50% higher than in Italy.
  • English grandparents are on average younger than in most European countries, with only Denmark having a higher proportion of grandparents in the 50 to 65 age group. While this makes England similar to France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria and Belgium, grandparents are older in Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany and Switzerland, where about two thirds or more are over 65.
  • Even though Dutch and Spanish grandparents report significantly more children than their English counterparts, English grandparents have the most grandchildren.
    Average number of grandchildren ranges from high of 4.93 in England to a low of 3.67 in Germany.
    Differences across countries in the number of children and grandchildren are a reflection of variations in the timing of past fertility. In Europe, birth rates have been at a low level for around 3 to 4 decades (for example, in France, Germany and Italy).
    While fertility began to decline in Southern European countries later than in Northern and Western Europe, since the 1980s fertility levels in these countries (and in Eastern European countries such as Romania) are among the lowest in the world (Coleman 1996).
    By contrast, Northern and Western Europe - now relatively high fertility zone - never experienced really low fertility (Coleman 1996). For example, the fewer children among German grandparents reflect the low fertility levels in the country in the 1960s (see Table 4-3, in comparison fertility in the UK in the 1960s was relatively because of the baby boom).
    The children of the grandparents in our study would be having their own children in the late1980s and 1990s (i.e. the grandchildren). This was a time of especially low fertility; particularly for Southern European countries (see Table 4-3). Low fertility, in combination with late ages at first birth, resulted in fewer grandchildren among Italian grandparents, for example, when compared to their English counterparts.
  • Among those over 50, more than one in four grandparents in the SHARE countries had at least one grandchild under the age of 3, and over half had at least one grandchild under the age of 6.
    The percentage of grandparents reporting a grandchild under the age of 3 ranged from a low of 20% in Germany to a high of 40% in the Netherlands; 33% of grandparents in France reported a grandchild under the age of 3.
    We do not have data on this question for England, but we suggest that England probably has a similar profile to France in this respect, because on many other grandparenting demographics, France and England are similar.
    French and Danish grandparents are the most likely to have a grandchild under the age of 3 and only Dutch grandparents are more likely to have a grandchild in this age group; grandparents in the other countries tended to have older grandchildren. For example, the odds of grandparents in France having a grandchild under the age of 3 are twice as high as in Germany.
  • Close to one in four (23%) of English grandparents aged 50 and over are in paid work, compared with an average of just one in seven across the other 11 countries studied. Only Denmark and Sweden have a higher percentage of working grandparents (around 30%).
  • (Do make clear when you are talking about your analysis that the figs relate to all skipped and 3 generation rather than just those with children under 18 – this is a key difference between Julie’s work and ours.)
  • While three-generation households more common in Portugal and Romania than U.S. – latest census date US the % of adults aged 40 and over in skipped generation households is higher.
    Both types of grandparent households less common in France and Germany (especially skipped generation).
    Trends over time - however, England and Wales, like the U.S., showed an increase in the prevalence of skipped -generation households.
    In England & Wales this rose from 0.3% of adults aged 35 and over living in such households in 1981 to 0.5% in 2001.
    No other European country studied so far has followed this pattern.
    This means around 155,000 people in skipped generation households in 2001.
  • Grandparenting regimes refer to how family and care policy constructs relations of care. The State intervenes to a certain extent either by addition or omission shifting opportunities for individuals and families to provide care to dependent individuals.
    Two axes: a) expectations of care: the State stratifies family and childcare relations b) economy of care: economic resources to provide childcare are in a continuum of public-private
    Low:
    Families with children are publicly supported regardless their financial resources or family composition: universal or low conditional benefits reduce dependences on the partner or labour market participation
    Childcare services are largely publicly provided and readily available from early years
    Dual-earner families are publicly and explicitly supported
    Moderate:
    Little public support in the form of cash transfers or benefits in-kind for families, but largely available for all types of family (low conditionality)
    Childcare services have little support from the State thought pre-school education: dependences on alternative State-provided childcare services are moderate to high depending on the country
    Dual-earner families are not penalised, but at the same time are little or no rewarded
    Dependences on market financial means are high: labour market participation is a source for child care provision and protection
    High:
    The State financially penalises families with high income, which is often the case of dual-earner families. These families are expected to organise care on their own. On the other hand, families with low income are publicly protected
    Little childcare service support from the State and very conditional cash transfers indicate high dependences on alternative financial and State-provided support
    Dual-earner families are not granted extra public support: self-reliance on family means are accentuated
    Some countries have explicit regulations on support from grandparents (Portugal, Spain and Hungary)
    Programmes of income maintenance are low, but family care publicly supported
  • This impacts also on how services are structured, in a feedback loop.
  • Conclusions
    Our analyses support the hypothesis that a country’s cultural-structural environment shapes the extent to which grandparents care for children in European countries. Particularly important is the extent to which mothers aged 25-49 in a country are not in the paid labour force as we hypothesise that this influences policies aimed at providing formal, affordable childcare, particularly for very young children. In those countries where the societal norm reflects the belief that mothers should stay at home to care for their families, most mothers do not work and those who do tend to work full-time (given inflexibilities in the labour market).
    In such countries as most mothers are not in paid work there is little formal childcare so that
    those who are in full-time work appear to be heavily reliant on family care and on
    grandparent childcare in particular. Finally, normative cultural factors are also important: in
    countries where more of the population believes that pre-school children suffer with working
    mothers, intensive grandparent childcare is also more prevalent. However, given that
    grandmothers aged 50–69 who were not in paid work were the most likely to provide
    childcare, government plans to extend retirement age and increase female labour participation at older ages is likely to conflict with the provision of childcare, and therefore the employability of younger mothers.
    Finally, normative cultural factors also important: in countries where greater % believes pre-school children suffer with mothers in paid work, intensive grandparent childcare more prevalent.
    Given that grandmothers 50–64 not in paid work most likely to provide intensive childcare, government plans to extend retirement age and increase female labour participation at older ages is likely to conflict with provision of childcare, and potentially the employability of younger mothers.
  • Grandparenting in Europe 2013- who are the grandparents provoding childcare?

    1. 1. Karen Glaser, Debora Price, Eloi Ribe Montserrat, Giorgio di Gessa and Anthea Tinker King’s College London
    2. 2. Outline of presentation The research study: 1. Funder and timescale 2. The objective of the research 3. The research questions 4. Findings a) b) c) d) 2 Grandparent characteristics Living arrangements Policy Multivariate analysis
    3. 3. 1. The research study – funder and timescale Supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation through Grandparents Plus and the Beth Johnson Foundation Start April 2011/October 2011 – March 2013 Preliminary Findings Briefing June 2012 Final Report May 2013 3
    4. 4. 2. The objective of the research To investigate variations across Europe in the diversity of grandparents, how grandparents contribute to childcare, and how policies are related to patterns of grandparenting. 4
    5. 5. 3. The research questions 5 1. How do the living arrangements of grandparents vary across European countries and how have they changed over time? 2. How do the characteristics of grandparents vary across 12 European states in terms of age, number of grandchildren, marital status, socio-economic status, participation in paid work, and well-being?
    6. 6. 3. The research questions 3. How does the level of involvement of 6 grandparents with their grandchildren vary across Europe in terms of care? What characteristics of grandparents help to explain the diversity of care arrangements? 4. How do family policies interact with gender, family, care and labour market cultures and structures to shape the levels of involvement of grandparents with their grandchildren?
    7. 7. 4a. Findings Grandparent Characteristics How do the characteristics of grandparents vary across12 European countries? (e.g. age, number of grandchildren, marital status, socio-economic status, participation in paid work, and well-being) 7
    8. 8. Data Sources ELSA (England) and SHARE – Austria, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Denmark, Greece, Switzerland and Belgium. Both surveys are based on people aged 50 and over are comparable.
    9. 9. % of older adults who are grandparents: 12 European States 9 Source: SHARE, 2004/05; ELSA, 2002/03; own calculations. Weighted data.
    10. 10. Age profile grandparents Considerable variation in % grandparents who are of working age (i.e. 50-64 age group). England relatively high percentage (41%) as France and the Scandinavian countries (e.g. Denmark 50%) Southern European countries only one third.
    11. 11. Mean number of grandchildren Source: SHARE, 2004/05; ELSA, 2002/03; own calculations. Weighted data. •English grandparents also have more grandchildren than their 12 European counterparts, with an average of nearly five (4.9) compared with an average across the other 11 countries of 4.2.
    12. 12. % grandparents with at least one grandchild aged 0-2 Source: SHARE, 2004/05; own calculations. Weighted data. •Dutch grandparents most likely have grandchild < 13 followed by French, Danish and Swedish. 3
    13. 13. % grandparents in paid work Source: SHARE, 2004/05; ELSA, 2002/03; own calculations. Weighted data. 14
    14. 14. 4b. Living Arrangements Examine changes in living arrangements between grandparents and grandchildren over time (with or without the parents being present) in England & Wales, France, Germany, Portugal and Romania. 15
    15. 15. What do we not know Lack evidence about trends and nature of grandparent households in Europe Evidence from the UK suggests grandparents form largest group among family and friends awarded kinship care of children. 16
    16. 16. Data Sources Trends in prevalence of grandparent 17 households Multivariate analysis to investigate how grandparent households vary across selected European countries and U.S. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series International (IPUMS), the ONS Longitudinal Study for England & Wales, and the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP).
    17. 17. Skipped-generation grandparent households 18
    18. 18. The Findings Increase in prevalence over time in skippedgeneration households in England & Wales (as in U.S.) Skipped-generation households much more likely to have older grandchild – raised by grandparents? England & Wales and US only countries where in skipped-generation households see increase in % households with youngest grandchild 0-5 (thus decrease in % households with 18+). 19
    19. 19. 4c. Research Question To what extent are national patterns in the demography of (non-co-residential) grandparental care influenced by family policy at national level? What difference does the nation state make? What is it about the nation state that makes a difference? Focus on intensive grandmaternal care 20
    20. 20. Method Select indicators Tabulate across ten countries [cross-sectional, 2008 data, various sources: Eurostat, OECD, GGS, SHARE, EVS, Eurobarometer, National and International web sources (statistical and departmental agencies)] Qualitative (theory driven) analysis of associations with grandparental care, using a constant comparative method Note: outcome variable of grandparental care from various sources, 2004 – 2008 [but these kinds of national patterns change very slowly] Select indicators to test with multi-level, multivariate model 21 Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, France, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Romania
    21. 21. Indicators GRANDPARENTAL CHILDCARE GRANDPARENTAL CHILDCARE 22
    22. 22. Metadata Will be published as a web resource (2013) Compares eleven widely differing European countries on over 100 indicators at a single point in time [2008] Each country has three Excel ‘books’, one for each set of indicators (policy, family & gender, labour force) + Tables of cross-eleven-country analyses Summaries of policies will be in the report, and some comparative tables 23
    23. 23. Grandparenting policy regimes No assumption of grandparental care (Denmark, Sweden and to a lesser extent France) Grandparental care is assumed (explicit or implicit): (Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain) State policies are neutral (Germany, Netherlands, UK)  But policy matrix is not the only factor 24
    24. 24. Source: SHARE 2004; Eurostat LFS 2011 In countries where more mothers are out of work, grandmothers play aagreater In countries where more mothers are out of work, grandmothers play greater role in looking after grandchildren intensively. role in looking after grandchildren intensively.  Childcare is really challenging for those mothers who do work in these countries.  Childcare is really challenging for those mothers who do work in these countries. 25 Note: No relationship between proportion of mothers working full time and grandparental care, whether daily, weekly or at all
    25. 25. Source: SHARE 2004; OECD 2011  In countries where it is more common for mid-life women not to be in  In countries where it is more common for mid-life women not to be in paid work, more grandmothers care for their grandchildren intensively paid work, more grandmothers care for their grandchildren intensively 26 There is aatension between women in their 50s and 60s being in paid There is tension between women in their 50s and 60s being in paid work, and their being available to look after their grandchildren (enabling work, and their being available to look after their grandchildren (enabling their adult daughters to work) their adult daughters to work)
    26. 26. Source: SHARE 2004; EVS 2008  In countries where more of the population believes that aapre-school  In countries where more of the population believes that pre-school child suffers with aaworking mother, more grandmothers provide intensive child suffers with working mother, more grandmothers provide intensive childcare for their grandchildren childcare for their grandchildren 27 In these countries, it is more socially acceptable/accepted/trusted for In these countries, it is more socially acceptable/accepted/trusted for grandmothers to care when mothers work, than for formal childcare grandmothers to care when mothers work, than for formal childcare services. services.
    27. 27. Children aged 0-2 % Children in formal care % of all children in childcare who are 30+ hours Total % of children in formal care in 30+ hours (1) Gross cost on average as % average wage Formal entitlement Regional variation Satisfaction public support for families Denmark 73 65 47 8.4 Yes Low 68.7 Sweden 49 31 15 4.5 Yes Low 64.4 Portugal 33 31 10 27.8 No High 11.5 France 40 23 9 25.1 No Low 49 Spain 39 16 6 30.3 No High 19 Italy 27 16 4 : No High 22 Netherlands 47 6 3 17.5 No Low 48 Germany 19 9 2 9.1 No High 37 UK 35 4 1 24.7 No High 62.4 Hungary 7 5 0.4 4.2 Yes : 22.5 Romania 8 2 0.2 : No High 34  In countries where there isis more use of formal childcare,especially long hours childcare, formal entitlements  In countries where there more use of formal childcare, especially long hours childcare, formal entitlements to childcare especially for children aged -0 –– 2, the cost is low, there is low regional variation and high public to childcare especially for children aged -0 2, the cost is low, there is low regional variation and high public satisfaction with public support for families, grandmothers play less of aa role in providing intensive childcare. satisfaction with public support for families, grandmothers play less of role in providing intensive childcare. These are complex interactions. If you only look at one or two columns, you miss the wider picture. These are complex interactions. If you only look at one or two columns, you miss the wider picture.
    28. 28. Country-level factors to be included in multi-level analysis % pre-school children suffer Country with working mother England 5 Denmark 2 Sweden 4 The Netherlands 7 Germany 17 France 13 Austria 26 Belgium 11 Spain 11 Italy 13 Greece 27 29 % mothers aged 25-49 not in paid work 31 15 17 21 29 25 25 25 37 44 40 % children <3 in formal care % women 50-64 in paid work 35 73 49 47 19 40 29 35 39 27 25 58 62 72 53 56 50 47 39 40 35 36 Source: OECD 2011, Eurostat (EU-SILC) 2011, European Values Survey Wave 4.
    29. 29. 4d. Policy & grandparent childcare Testing policy model empirically with data about intensity and frequency of grandparental involvement with grandchildren. Focus on intensive of grandparent childcare 30
    30. 30. Intensive childcare % Mean 6 30.0 England (ELSA) 3 29.6 Denmark 4 31.2 Sweden 8 29.4 The Netherlands 11 24.7 Germany 10 31.1 France 12 28.3 Austria 16 29.4 Belgium 18 30.4 Spain 24 26.6 Italy 24 33.7 Greece Tot SHARE 13 29.3 The outcome is provision of intensive childcare by grandparents 31
    31. 31. Findings - Multivariate You need both an understanding of demographic, policy, cultural-structural factors to explain variations in national patterns of grandparent childcare. E.g. More women aged 50 to 64 in paid work, less intensive grandparent childcare. E.g. More children 0-2 in formal care, less intensive grandparent care. In countries (e.g. Italy, Portugal, Spain) women working fulltime rely heavily on family care and on grandparent childcare in particular (as there is little formal childcare) 32
    32. 32. Overall Project Aim: Theoretical development of understanding intergenerational relations in the realm of grandparental care; Inform understanding of the relevance of policy and demography in understanding the structure of grandparenting; Grandparents Plus: Evidence based campaigning for recognition and support of the role grandparents play in children’s lives, especially when they take on the caring role in difficult family circumstances 33
    33. 33. Thank you for your attention 34

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