Child care by choice or by default? : examining the experiences of unregulated home-based child care for women in paid work and training
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This thesis aims to uncover the dynamics, causes and outcomes of women's reliance on unregulated home-based child care in Ontario, Canada, and the implications ofthis form of care for women's equality. Drawing on a longitudinal qualitative study, I examine the diverse experience of 14 women using home-based child care and engaged in both paid work/training and care work for children under the age of six, and draw comparisons with users of other forms of child care. I argue that home-based child care involves high levels of instability for continuity of care and is chosen largely as a default position based on economic considerations. It represents a compromise between the demands of social reproduction and paid work/training that entangles mothers in relations of exploitation with care providers. Doing so leaves both mothers and care providers socially and economically vulnerable and relying on social networks to fill in the gaps.