22 Oct 2018
- Nonstandard-hour work schedules are necessary in today’s economy but can be challenging for parents who need childcare.
- Research suggests that parents working nonstandard hours can negatively affect children, but questions remain about whether it is the work schedule itself or something else.
- Using unique time-diary data on low-income mothers with young children, this report found that work schedule instability — meaning transitioning between standard- and nonstandard-hour schedules — was associated with childcare instability in ways that nonstandard-hour schedules alone were not, suggesting that work schedule instability might be more important than nonstandard hours in explaining child outcomes.
- Policymakers should consider how the federal childcare subsidy program and tax policy can support parents who work nonstandard-hour schedules by limiting schedule and childcare instability.