Balancing work and family

Balancing work and family life is a challenge for the whole family. The solution models are as varied as the individual demands and requirements of households.
Nowadays, it is increasingly rare for a single salary to meet the financial needs of a family. Consequently, it is often a financial necessity for both parents to engage in paid employment. In addition, women have higher educational qualifications and do not want to abandon their careers altogether because of family.
The fact that women, and mothers in particular, are increasingly engaged in paid employment should not obscure the fact that most of them work part-time and, particularly, that they do so with a low work-time percentage (under 50%) when children live in the household. On the other hand, men and particularly fathers usually work full-time, which is why the burden of balancing work and family is usually borne by mothers.
One of the main options available to ease the burden for working parents is extra-family childcare provided by grandparents, neighbours, day nurseries, out-of-school centres, childminders, full-time schools, supervised lunch programmes. Institutional childcare services are not always available in sufficient numbers, compatible with parents' work schedules and affordable. Depending on the age and number of children, the mother's second wage may end up being used up by these extra expenses.


Federal Statistical Office Section Demography and Migration
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuch√Ętel



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