Maternal Work, Schedules and Hours Volatility, and School Readiness

Natasha Pilkauskas , University of Michigan

Gaps in school readiness explain about half of later disparities in school achievement. One understudied contributing factor to school readiness is the role of precarious maternal employment. Using employment calendar data (N=1,964) from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a longitudinal birth cohort dataset of largely low-income, urban mothers, this study examines whether maternal non-standard work (evening, night, irregular) work in early childhood (birth to age 5), and changes in shifts and hours (both between and within jobs) are linked with behavioral and cognitive outcomes at the start of kindergarten. Although changes in work hours or shifts over time are not associated with school readiness, irregular shifts (work that changes weekly) are associated with greater externalizing and internalizing behavior

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 Presented in Session 82. Economic Instability and Family Well-being