The Early Childhood Education and Care Policy Debate in the EU

TitleThe Early Childhood Education and Care Policy Debate in the EU
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsCasalini B
JournalInterdisciplinary Journal of Family Studies
Date Published06/2014
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2282-2011
Keywordschildren's rights, early childhood education and care, equal opportunities, human capital, social investment state

The paper describes the many cultural and political turning points in childcare in the EU over the past thirty years, focusing on official EU documents and the interpretative, theoretical frameworks that have influenced them during this period. We have shown that the effects of the quality of childcare services on child development as well as the responsibility of the states in sustaining the costs of children's services have been addressed primarily from a social investment perspective. Nevertheless, there is ample reason to wonder whether the social investment philosophy can be reconciled both with gender equality issues and with a fundamental appreciation of the rights of all children. In our reconstruction and in our conclusions, we suggest that this may well be impossible.