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Childcare markets: Can they deliver an equitable service?

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Lloyd, Eva & Penn, Helen (Eds.)
Book / booklet
Publication Date: 
1 Jul 2012

Available for purchase (The Policy Press)

Available for purchace (University of Chicago Press)

Childcare markets: Do they work? (Chapter by Helen Penn published as CRRU Occasional Paper, Feb 2012)


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.


In this fascinating book, a group of distinguished scholars provide incisive analyses of market-based child care around the world. They convey child care for what it is - both a service to parents and a major determinant of children's development and future life course. An informative must-read for both scholars and policymakers.

-Edward Zigler, Ph.D. Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus. Director Emeritus, The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, Yale University.