19 May 2017 from 14:30 to 16:00

PhD defence: Work, childcare and well-being: the puzzle of today's families

Een vader met zijn dochter achter een laptop.
A working father with his young daughter.

Work outside office hours - in the evening, night or weekend - does not necessarily have to have negative consequences for the family. Melissa Verhoef demonstrates this in her doctoral thesis. In it, she puts this type of work schedule in a more positive light than previous research on the topic and the current public opinion are doing.

Verhoef investigated the relationship between parents' work schedules, childcare and the well-being of parents and children. It turns out that work outside office hours gives parents more possibilities to look after their children themselves.

This makes childcare important to the well-being of these parents after all. This is because in families that use childcare, the well-being of fathers who work outside office hours is higher than that of fathers who work during office hours. In families who do not use childcare, it is mothers who work outside office hours who have a lower well-being.


For the well-being of children, the relationship between parents and the employees of the childcare centre is important. The better this relationship is, the better it is for the child, Verhoef states.

Kinderen met een begeleidster.
Children with a childcare employee.

The role childcare plays is not the same in every country. The PhD Candidate compared Dutch families to families in Finland and Great Britain. This shows that Dutch parents who work outside office hours are less likely to use formal childcare than Finnish parents.

Dutch children also have a lower well-being than British children when they stay in formal childcare for prolonged periods of time. These differences can be partially explained by the fact that policies and social norms regarding childcare are not the same in every country.

Start date and time
19 May 2017 14:30
End date and time
19 May 2017 16:00
PhD candidate
Melissa Verhoef
Work schedules, childcare and well-being
PhD supervisor(s)
Prof Dr Ir A. G. van der Lippe
Dr A. Roeters