This informative book explores the fair allocation of the costs of childcare in European countries and suggests that greater choice is required to reduce the current tendency to discriminate against mothers.
The expert contributors provide an assessment of how countries can handle the fair allocation of the costs of childcare. They look at the experience within Europe in recent years and show in particular how these interrelate with the objectives of improving income, employment and social inclusion. The book's conclusion reveals that choice is the key ingredient as families have different views and different degrees of support available from their relatives. Income and social inclusion can provide choice but ironically employment does not always. An employment-based model can sometimes narrow people's choices, particularly for people on low wages. The major concern is that most existing systems effectively discriminate against mothers.
This is the first book to consider the democratic implications of social welfare systems. It provides an up-to-date assessment of the pressures on parents in deciding how to raise their children under restricted incomes. For many families, practical decisions about childcare are found at a local level. These will depend on the immediate factors that affect them, such as the availability of local nurseries or a family's ability to draw on voluntary networks of support. What is clear, however, is that many of these arrangements discriminate against women. Researchers and practitioners in the field of social policy and childcare in particular will find this book insightful. Graduate students of social policy will also find some practical examples to make their courses more relevant.
Edited by the late David G. Mayes, formerly Professor of Banking and Financial Institutions, Director, Europe Institute and Director, NZ Governance Centre, University of Auckland, New Zealand and Mark Thomson, Research Fellow, Europe Institute, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction: Childcare and Democracy in the EU David G. Mayes and Mark Thomson 2. Social Regimes and Gender Equality: Childcare in the EU Mark Thomson 3. Valuation of Children and Childcare Arnlaug Leira 4. Childcare Politics and the Norwegian Fertility `Machine' Anne Lise Ellingsaeter 5. A Market for Childcare Services? Private Provision and Public Finance in the Dutch Childcare Sector Janneke Plantenga 6. The Impact of Childcare Costs for Northern Irish Females Rachel Dennison and Nora Smith 7. What Stops Lone Mothers from Working? Insights from the UK's Millennium Cohort Study Shireen Kanji 8. The Costs of Caring for Children Before and After Divorce: Contradictory Legal Messages and their Gendered Effects Kirsten Scheiwe 9. Out of the Frying Pan, into the Fire: Hungarian Parental Leave Policies from a Gender Equality Perspective Roza Vajda 10. Childcare as Intergenerational Support Karoliina Majamaa 11. Costs and Consequences for Carers of Vulnerable Children in Australia Marilyn McHugh 12. High-qualified Women and the Gendered Division of Domestic Labour: An Exploratory Analysis from the Field of Photonics Ineke Casier, Alison Woodward, Machteld De Metsenaere and Elke Van den Brandt 13. Redistributing the Costs of Childcare and its Democratic Implications David G. Mayes and Mark Thomson Index