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Home alone: Exploring childcare options to move beyond the single child problem in Belarus

Kamila Ishchanova, Charles University In Prague

Driven by very low second birth rates, the long-term fertility decline in Belarus has become a major national policy focus of the past decades. Building on previous research in other developed countries that found a link between family policy measures and fertility decisions, this study aims to assess the relation between access to (in)formal childcare support and having two children in Belarus. The empirical results will be pivotal in creating an evidence base to identify and implement effective family planning policies in Belarus. The analysis is based on respondents of the Belarusian Generation and Gender Survey (2017), who are aged between 18 and 45 and have one or two biological child/-ren under 11 years old. The main explanatory variable is the usage of (in)formal childcare arrangements. The model controls for sex, age, education, economic wellbeing of individuals, and their employment status and their partner. Applying logistic regressions, the model demonstrates that institutional childcare support almost doubles the likelihood of having two children regardless of socioeconomic and employment status. The use of only informal childcare is negatively related to having two children. This study proposes initial family policy measures to stimulate families in Belarus to have more than one child.

Keywords: Policy, Fertility and childbirth

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session P15.