Five: Equal access to high-quality childcare in the Netherlands

This chapter examines the extent to which disadvantaged children are able to access high quality early childhood education and care in the Netherlands, where ECEC services are strongly divided by social class. Private day care centres provide care for young children whose parents are employed, while publicly funded playgroups mainly serve children from lower income families and minority backgrounds. The authors provide new evidence on the relative quality of care children receive in the two types of programs, using data from the Pre-Cool survey for two year olds. Reassuringly, they find that the average quality of care on offer in playgroups is at least as good as that provided by private day care centres. However, they also find that within the private day care sector, higher income children tend to receive care of higher quality than their lower income peers.

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