By Laura Sosinsky, Ph.D.

A growing number of working parents do not have predictable weekday work schedules. Shifts can change at the last minute. Many parents work at night, in the early morning, or on the weekend. How do they manage? And what happens with their children?

These issues are getting attention in the media and research, and prompting changes in local and state policies. Philadelphia’s new “Fair Work Week” ordinance, which was signed into law on December 20, 2018 and went into effect on January 1, 2020, will require chain retailers and restaurants to raise scheduling standards, including giving workers two-week advance notice of their hourly schedules.

READ MORE about the “supply and demand” of child care when young children’s parents work nonstandard or unpredictable schedules. How many families need nonstandard- or irregular-hour child care, and why? How many child care providers supply nonstandard- or irregular-hour care, and what are the barriers to expanding this service? What strategies to address this growing challenge have been proposed or tested? The brief covers the national context with a focus on Philadelphia. Then it discusses strategies to address this growing challenge. The national context is covered, with a focus on Philadelphia.

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