Institutional Child Care in Belarus

  • Author / Creator
    Hurava, Iryna N
  • The purpose of this study on Belarusian child care policy was two-fold: 1) to explore the extent to which the state in Belarus shares in and supports familial child care and, 2) to explore the alignment between current child care policy and parental preferences. The former is achieved by an examination of Belarus’ child care policies through the lens of Leitner's model of familialism varieties. The latter is achieved through conducting a qualitative study with 13 Belarussian mother with pre-school children using a focus group method. My analysis showed that Belarus' policies differ between children under 3 years old and children of 3 to 6 years old. For the former group, Belarus' policies are characterized by optional familialism, while for the latter age group they are de-familialistic in nature. Using latent content analysis, I found that overall, Belarussian mothers are satisfied with the current public child care system inherited from the Soviet times with its focus on quality and affordability and view it as an appropriate function for the state. However, women are not satisfied with the environment of optional familialism in the form it is implemented in Belarus. Although women like the option of caring for their young children at home while on parental leave, they would have liked to use the option of state child care sooner. I conclude that the optional familialism that is apparent in the current child care policy encouraging mothers to stay at home with their young children does not align with the preferences and values of mothers, particularly those from higher socio-economic strata. By and large, Belarussian mothers support de-familialism. Further studies of parents’ experiences with child care should include fathers and parents of a lower socio-economic status.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Family Ecology and Practice
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Javornic, Jana (Sociology and Social Policy)
    • Fast, Lanet (Human Ecology)