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An equal start?Providing quality early education and care for disadvantaged children$
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Ludovica Gambaro, Kitty Stewart, and Jane Waldfogel

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447310518

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447310518.001.0001

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Equal access to quality care

Equal access to quality care

Lessons from France on providing high-quality and affordable early childhood education and care

(p.77) Four Equal access to quality care
An equal start?

Jeanne Fagnani

Policy Press

This chapter examines the extent to which disadvantaged children are able to access high quality early childhood education and care in France. France is a leader in the ECEC arena, but while it has achieved universal preschool provision for children age three and up in high-quality école maternelles, it faces challenges in the supply of care for children under the age of three. There is a shortfall of places and participation is strongly graded by social class: children of non-working, low income, or low educated parents are less likely to participate and less likely to attend a crèche (childcare centre). The supply concerns have led to recent policy efforts to expand the number of places available, even if this means potentially reducing quality (by for example permitting lower staff qualifications and increased child/staff ratios).

Keywords:   early childhood education and care, disadvantaged children, ECEC, childcare, quality of access, France

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