Author: Ng, Yin-ling Tabitha
Title: An exploratory study on the impact of child care on the employment decision of the single parents in Hong Kong
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2000
Subject: Child care services -- China -- Hong Kong
Single parents -- Employment -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: vi, 84, [6] leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: Child care is a difficult task for dual-earner families. Difficulties faced by single parents are often more than doubled as they take up dual role of an earner and a carer in the family. With the increase in the number of single parents, in particular lone mothers, living on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) in recent years, many people are worried whether Hong Kong would become a welfare state and create dependency culture for the minority group. On the other hand, many of the single parents reflect that they prefer working rather than relying on CSSA. They live on welfare mainly due to insufficient and inadequate child care support. In this study, the researcher aims to explore the impact of child care on the employment decision made by them. This study adopts the individualist and the feminist approaches to discuss three areas of concern: First, the impact of traditional value on work and family, and women's role in child care. Second, the effects of the structural barriers such as child care on the employment decision of single parents. Lastly, the debate on private or public responsibility on child care. Based on 140 completed questionnaires returned by the single parents, this study reveals tat the ideology of familism and the culturally defined concept of carers govern the minds of many lone mothers to prefer to take care of their children at home than working in the labour market. The study also indicates that most of the single parents, including CSSA recipients wish to work if some structural problems, including insufficient child care facilities, difficulties in job hunting and loopholes in the existing social security system could be tackled. Finally, the findings also show that single parents expect the government to take up more responsibility on child care expense so as to relieve their heavy financial burden on child care costs. This study concludes with a series of recommendations including reforms in the existing social policies on child care, employment and social security system for single parents. A wide range of new initiatives on child care and employment services are also proposed to encourage single parents to re-enter the workforce more smoothly and successfully.
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