This article examines cross-national differences in the time parents allocate to their children using aggregate data from 15 countries collected as part of the Harmonized European Time Use Survey (HETUS). The analysis is restricted to married or cohabiting parents with at least one child under the age of seven. Results show large differences between countries; differences which appear to be associated with four main national characteristics: the countries’ level of economic development, the number of hours spent in paid work, values regarding gender roles, and postmaterialist values. Some elements of the countries’ work–family policies also appear to matter but their overall effect is less conclusive.
keywords: family; parenting; social welfare