English title: Childcare needs and childcare policies: A multidimensional issue

Author(s): Chiara Saraceno -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2011


Childcare has become a much-debated issue in all developed countries. Who should care for children, how, how much and for how long are the questions at the centre of value conflicts that shape not only policies and struggles around policies, but also individual and family choices. This article contributes to the debate in two ways. First, it presents an up-to-date overview of the different childcare packages offered by the 27 EU countries, indicating how they represent quite different understandings of proper care, as well as of proper behaviour by mothers and fathers. Second, it attempts to unravel the different dimensions implicated in the debate, going beyond the simplification of the mother’s care vs non-family care dichotomy. It concludes that an integrated research agenda, focusing both on the outcomes for labour markets and for children’s well-being, is necessary in order to develop policies that address the complex issues of choice, rights and social inequality involved in child-caring patterns.

Volume: 59

Issue: 1

From page no: 78

To page no: 96

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/0011392110385971

Journal: Current Sociology

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