Childcare in the pre-school years

Fiona Roberts, Sandra Mathers, Heather Joshi, Kathy Sylva and Elizabeth Jones

in Children of the 21st century (Volume 2)

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9781847424761
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301790 | DOI:
Childcare in the pre-school years

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This chapter is concerned with the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) children's experience of care from people other than the mother, with an emphasis on those children who attended group childcare settings at some point during their pre-school years. It outlines the evolving experience of non-maternal care for all the children in the MCS, across the UK, from infancy to primary school. It goes on to put a microscope on 301 childcare settings attended by a sub-group of children in England in 2005. It compares the families who did, and did not, use centre-based care, then describes the quality of centre-based care experienced by the children who did attend, and explores differential access to high-quality services. It also describes the characteristics of centres that were providing high-quality care and discusses the results in terms of government policy, ending with recommendations that could improve the quality of childcare provision.

Keywords: Millennium Cohort Study; care; pre-school years; non-maternal care; childcare settings; England; centre-based care; government policy; childcare provision

Chapter.  7911 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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