Promoting social investment through work–family policies: which nations do it and why?<sup>1</sup>

Edited by Kimberly J. Morgan

in Towards A Social Investment Welfare State?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9781847429247
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305613 | DOI:
Promoting social investment through work–family policies: which nations do it and why?1

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This chapter analyses the development of childcare and work-family reconciliation policies in three groups of countries: countries where early childhood education and care policies are well developed (Sweden and France); path-shifting countries who, in the past decade or so, have broken from decades of entrenched immobility on child care and leave-time policy (Germany, the Netherlands and the UK); and countries that so far have not developed any such policies (Austria, Italy and Spain). It characterises the nature of the recent changes that have taken place, compares these reforms to the social investment ideals which are commonly articulated and then probes the political forces driving these reforms. The chapter shows that the policies which have been implemented have not always been designed in the most gender egalitarian way, and that gender equality and the quality of childcare have often been sacrificed in the name of labour market participation.

Keywords: work-family policies; childcare; gender equality; quality of care; labour market participation; social investment

Chapter.  10530 words.  Illustrated.

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