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Can they deliver an equitable service?
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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.

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Part two Explorations in childcare markets

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287 ELEVEN Childcare and early years Christine Skinner Key findings • It is normal for three- and four-year-olds to attend some formal free early education provision. • Family and child characteristics are the most important factors affecting child outcomes. • Parenting skills and the ‘home learning environment’ are becoming increasingly important aspects of the evidence base. • Targeted ‘early interventions’ in the ‘early years of childhood’ are on the increase – especially for the most disadvantaged children. • There is a drive towards ‘early intervention

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207 Parents’ employment and childcare EIGHT Parents’ employment and childcare Shirley Dex, Denise Hawkes, Heather Joshi and Kelly Ward Since 1980, there have been very large increases in labour force participation among mothers with pre-school children, doubling over 20 years. In 1980, 27% of mothers with a child under 5 were employed (Martin and Roberts, 1984, Table 2.6, p 13), compared with 54% in 2001 (Labour Market Trends, 2003, p 505). Many mothers work part time when children are young, but there have also been more mothers working full time at this stage

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111 SIX Childcare and family-friendly employment policies Introduction This chapter reviews developments in childcare and family-friendly employment policies. Policy discourses distinguish between parental, informal and formal childcare; different types of formal services and different sectors (ie private or statutory provision). Chapter Four considered how childcare policies in the UK prior to 1997 were shaped by the division between ‘care’ and ‘education’, and state provision was restricted to families in need (Randall, 2000). Local childcare services

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47 THREE Childcare, life chances and social justice Gideon Calder Introduction In recent years the notion of ‘life chances’ has been moving ever closer to the centre of UK talk about social mobility and equality of opportunity. With the Welfare and Reform Act 2016, its official status was confirmed by the retrospective renaming of the Child Poverty Act 2010 as the Life Chances Act 2010. As a term it has been high on political resonance but low on definition. This chapter considers the relationship between the ‘life chances’ agenda – such as it is – and

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163 EIGHT Gender regime, attitudes towards childcare and actual involvement in childcare among fathers Mikael Nordenmark Introduction Going beyond the approach taken in the other chapters in this book, which focus specifically on the Nordic countries, and in order to better illustrate the ‘Nordicness’ of fatherhood, this chapter compares the attitudes and behaviour among fathers in the Nordic and Southern European regions. The reason for comparing these two regions is that they represent two very different gender policy regimes: the Nordic countries (in

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of fathers’ and mothers’ time with children ( Fisher et al, 1999 ; Gauthier et al, 2004 ; Sayer et al, 2004 ). Hands-on childcare is becoming a joint commitment of both parents, turning parents’ coordination of their childcare into a major concern. Despite these changes, most fathers still adopt a breadwinner fathering style and prioritise employment, whereas mothers often adjust their work schedules to childcare needs ( Miller, 2011 ; Connolly et al, 2016 ). Because mothers also tend to provide longer hours of household work than fathers ( Pailhé et al, 2019

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23 Part One Conceptual and historical analysis of in-home childcare

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’s infection rates are mainly shaped by the two region-specific parameters of infection path and spatial distance, and the two individual-specific parameters of vulnerability and contact frequency. We extensively draw on the latter, exploring the intra- and extra-familial mechanisms fuelling contact frequency to test the potential role of regular grandparental childcare (GPC) in explaining overall infection rates. We study these relationships in Germany, combining aggregate survey data with local administrative data, and find a positive correlation between the frequency of

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