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Why good child care? Equity

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Providing equity

For two groups in society - women and children with disabilities - ECEC makes a special contribution to equity.

Equity for children with disabilities is an important social justice issue. In previous decades, many countries have progressed from neglect and institutionalisation of children with special needs to the development of separate schools and facilities. More recently, the idea (if not the full practice) that all individuals have the right to full participation in their community and in society - in schools, workplaces, and public settings including ECEC programs - has become mainstream. ECEC services can provide equity for children with special needs if they are welcomed into inclusive programs and have the opportunity to participate alongside of typically developing peers.

The idea that "child care is the ramp that provides equal access to the workforce for mothers" is not a new one. However, as an equity issue, this goes beyond the pragmatic value of ensuring that mothers of young children can be employed. The idea that universal child care is required to support women's equality as a basic citizenship right is associated with feminist arguments that social rights constitute a key element of citizenship. While from a practical point of view, the burden of household and caring work has huge implications for women's economic and social status, it is also a matter of citizenship rights and responsibilities. Simply put, without full access to ECEC services, equality for women cannot be a reality.

social solidarity lifelong learning  
parental employment equity
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