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Childcare marketsCan they deliver an equitable service?$
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Eva Lloyd and Helen Penn

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847429339

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847429339.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.79) Five Tinkering with early childhood education and care: early education vouchers in Hong Kong
Source:
Childcare markets
Author(s):

Gail Yuen

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847429339.003.0005

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

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