The article analyses the institutional forms and gender specific praxis of care within entrepreneurial families in the context of the post-socialist transition. The state socialist welfare regime created an institutional network, which set gendered forms of praxis for how labour distributed between productive and reproductive spheres. The introduction of GYES (three year paid subsidy) in 1967 was further developed both during and after the fall of state socialism. Despite of severe cuts in the benefits paid for homecare of children below three, this system, which was associated in praxis almost exclusively only by women, carries on to the post-socialist period. However, among rural family entrepreneurs the prevalence of women’s stay with the children during the small child period did not lead to their economic inactivation. Rather, in these families women either returned to paid work, or for many the leave was the way to get involved with the family enterprise. Care regimes are composed of a variety of “institutions” beyond that set by the state, the most important institution being the family and the broader kin unit. Even market based systems are utilised by the entrepreneurial families. The study revealed that these families, faced by the demands of primary capital accumulation at the phase of starting the enterprise are often burdened by not only by restrictive measures on consumption (since all assets are to be mobilised for the enterprise) but even by the excessive demand on labour. Facing these hard times, many families resorted to the strategy of cuts on the standard of consumption, including the standard of care that the family members (including children and themselves) receive. Such measures include both compromising the forms of supervision for children, or the quality of food and cleaning.
Elsevier , 2008.