Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Home Alone: Exploring Childcare Options to Remove Barriers to Second Childbearing in Belarus

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Abstract:  This study investigates the relationship between childcare usage and parents’ intentions to have a second child in Belarus. Previous research has established that low fertility in Belarus can be primarily explained by falling second birth rates. However, a substantial research gap remains regarding the determinants of the low rate of second childbearing in Belarus. Based on a comprehensive review of hypothesised fertility barriers and family policy options in Belarus, this study leverages data from the Belarusian Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) from 2017 to examine the relationship between formal, informal, and mixed childcare usage and parents’ intention to have a second child. The analysis is based on fertile individuals aged 18–45 who have a partner and one biological child under 11 years old (i.e., up to the age at which children leave primary school). The model controls for sex, age, education, respondents’ economic wellbeing, the employment status of both partners, and the age of their child. Applying logistic regression, the analysis demonstrates that mixed childcare support increases respondents’ intentions to have an additional child. Having a child aged 3–6 years, being below 26 years old and male, are also associated with a higher likelihood of intentions to have a second child. No association was found between economic wellbeing or employment status and second‐parity fertility intentions. The results of this study suggest that gender‐egalitarian family policy instruments that improve institutional childcare and that incentivise men to participate in childcare could reduce barriers to second childbearing in Belarus.

Keywords:  Belarus; childcare; family policy; fertility decline; one‐child families; pronatalism; short‐term fertility intentions



© Kamila Ishchanova. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.