Work, Families and Children

Ongoing since 1986

Project Directors: Nancy L. Marshall, Wendy Wagner Robeson, Joanne Roberts

workfamilieschildren_small20For more than 20 years, researchers on the Work, Families and Children team have studied the lives of children and adults, and the workplaces, early care and education programs and families in which they live, work and grow. The Work, Families and Children team applies an ecological systems model to the study of the lives of children and adults. From this perspective, individual lives are best understood in the context of social institutions, such as families, the workplace, and early care and education settings.

Work. Research in this area has examined working conditions and adult wellbeing, and work and family issues across the lifespan.

Families. Research has examined the role of poverty, division of labor, parenting stress, and other aspects of the family environment in the lives of children and adults.

Children. Research has examined children’s development over time, as well the impact of early care and education programs on children. Research in this area also examines in detail the quality and costs of early care and education programs, an important context for young children’s development in the 21st century.

Intersections. The Work, Families and Children team has also conducted studies at the intersections of these domains, including the interface between work and family, the relative effects of families and early care and education environments on children’s development, and the working conditions and needs of the workforce of adults employed in early care and education programs.

The Work, Families and Children team receives funding from a variety of sources for this work, including federal grants, state grants and contracts, contracts with local communities or school systems, and grants from private foundations. The work of the Work, Families and Children team is available through WCW publications, article journals and books available online or in libraries, and through conference presentations and public speaking.