Chapter

Tinkering with early childhood education and care: early education vouchers in Hong Kong

Gail Yuen

in Childcare markets

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9781847429339
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307679 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847429339.003.0005
Tinkering with early childhood education and care: early education vouchers in Hong Kong

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This chapter discusses how the city of Hong Kong, a centrally operated economy, but nevertheless one with a strong market ethos, has recently introduced a market-based innovation, early education vouchers, with mixed results. In Hong Kong, these services for children from birth to 6 are fully privatised, but mostly non-profit making. Kindergartens provide early education for children aged 3 to 6 and in some cases as young as 2, the latter known as kindergarten-cum-childcare centres. Childcare centres serve children under 3. kindergarten-cum-childcare centres take up a sizeable market share of services for children aged between 2 and 3. By comparison, the early education market for 3 to 6 year olds is much bigger. Employing an ethic of care perspective grounded in Tronto's (1993) theory, the chapter questions whether this market approach can alter existing power structures within Hong Kong society, which in the author's view negatively affect the status of women and young children.

Keywords: Centrally operated economy; Early education vouchers; Market approach; Ethic of care; Power structures

Chapter.  6194 words. 

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