Chapter

Childcare markets and government intervention

Gillian Paull

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/9781847429339.003.0013
Childcare markets and government intervention

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At the start of this chapter the author posits that it is simply not feasible to summarise into a single comparative framework the diverse ways in which the unique characteristics of childcare have been addressed in governmental policies and strategies. Instead, this chapter draws together the economic elements to assess the role of the market in childcare provision and the case for government intervention. After describing the advantages of a private market, it then summarises the evidence presented in Childcare Markets on the problems in the operation of this market, the social objectives that have driven government intervention and the policy solutions that have been used around the world. It concludes that the evidence suggests any policies mitigating market failures and promoting social objectives need to be multidimensional and critically need to command sufficient support from the wider population to pay their cost. The chapter concludes that there is considerable scope for countries to learn from the experiences of others on the best mechanisms for childcare provision. However, given the variation in social objectives for childcare and in cultural conditions, a considerable degree of international diversity in the role of the market and government in childcare provision will likely remain.

Keywords: Government intervention; Childcare market mechanisms; market failures; Social objectives

Chapter.  7920 words. 

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