In the absence of public provision, many governments rely on the market to meet childcare demand. But who are the actors shaping this market? What work do they do to marketize care? And what does it mean for how childcare is provided?
Based on an innovative theoretical framework and an in-depth study of the New Zealand childcare market, Gallagher examines the problematic growth of private, for-profit childcare. Opening the ‘black box’ of childcare markets to closer scrutiny, this book brings to light the complex political, social and economic dynamics behind childcare provisioning.
The viability, quality and sustainability of publicly supported early childhood education and care services is a lively issue in many countries, especially since the rights of the child imply equal access to provision for all young children. But equitable provision within childcare markets is highly problematic, as parents pay for what they can afford and parental income inequalities persist or widen.
This highly topical book presents recent, significant research from eight nations where childcare markets are the norm. It also includes research about ‘raw’ and ‘emerging’ childcare markets operating with a minimum of government intervention, mostly in low income countries or post transition economies. Childcare markets compares these childcare marketisation and regulatory processes across the political and economic systems in which they are embedded. Contributions from economists, childcare policy specialists and educationalists address the question of what constraints need to be in place if childcare markets are to deliver an equitable service.
Spanning the United Kingdom, United States and Australia, this comparative study brings maternal workers’ politicized voices to the centre of contemporary debates on childcare, work and gender.
The book illustrates how maternal workers continue to organize against low pay, exploitative working conditions and state retrenchment and provides a unique theorization of feminist divisions and solidarities.
Bringing together social reproduction with maternal studies, this is a resonating call to build a cross-sectoral, intersectional movement around childcare. Maud Perrier shows why social reproduction needs to be at the centre of a critical theory of work, care and mothering for post-pandemic times.
It goes without saying that childcare centre investment has become a must consider commodity of the more astute investor in recent times.
Savills News Australia, 26 July 2016
In the previous chapters I explored what state-led marketization looks like at its core. This work detailed the active strategies of the state in the formation of key calculative agencies (parent consumers, workers and providers), the related attempts to pacify childcare as a commodity purchased in the emergent market and the financial strategies of for-profit providers in response
The childcare market is a way of describing a situation where the state has relatively little influence on – or interest in – how services for young children are set, maintained or delivered. ( Penn, 2013 : 19)
I had been in Ireland on research leave for just under a month when a news story caught my attention. A prime-time television investigation of a Dublin-based childcare chain was due to air, ominously titled ‘Creches, Behind Closed Doors’. The story cast a critical lens not only on the service in question, but on all aspects of the regulation
economy, economic sociology and economic geography, seeks to take markets as an object of study, paying analytical attention to the everyday, mundane practices and objects which are involved in their construction. While care markets have not tended to be a focus of research in this field, with commodity and financial markets dominating analyses, I suggest that SSM offers a conceptually sophisticated language to open the black box of childcare, and other care markets, to more engaged scrutiny. Bringing the literature on childcare markets into conversation with the
‘Back 20 years ago you really had to sell the computer as well as the software. … We only got a few services on board who were a bit more, you know, forward thinking. There wasn’t a lot of MoE compliance, unlike today. Now I would estimate 95 per cent or more of centres have our software platform or one of our competitors. It’s nearly impossible to manage without it.’
Tom, childcare management company owner
The previous chapter opened out the analysis of childcare markets to the work of property investment practices as a means of illustrating the
In this chapter I will consider the other set of calculative agencies in the childcare market: the providers. A major concern in recent literature has been the privatization of childcare services, particularly notable in markets with a demand side funding system. The outcome has been both a proliferation and diversification of for-profit childcare providers, ranging in scale from single owner-operators to large scale shareholder driven corporates. For critics of childcare markets, this diversification has posed a conceptual problem, as while they all in theory
a reconceptualisation of
family policy regimes
Debora Price, Eloi Ribe, Giorgio Di Gessa
and Karen Glaser
In recent decades, substantial sociodemographic and economic
transformations in western economies have altered family structures
as well as relations between the family and the state. New economic
relations together with greater civil and social rights have contributed
to changing the social division of labour between men and women.
These developments have led to substantial changes in the social