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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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Raw and emerging childcare markets

Raw and emerging childcare markets

(p.173) Ten Raw and emerging childcare markets
Childcare markets

Helen Penn

Policy Press

This chapter considers childcare markets in low income countries, and in post-socialist countries, where there is little or no government intervention. It explores the consequences of these raw or emerging markets for parents, children and for entrepreneurs themselves. The example of Namibia illustrates an African childcare market lacking any intervention, before a discussion of childcare markets in post-socialist countries. One of the claims for early childhood education and care is that such services can promote equity. Emerging evidence suggests a considerable increase in ECEC in most countries, generally considered a sign of progress. But stark inequities remain between rural and urban provision, between government and for-profit and non-profit provision, and between provision used by educated and better off parents or available only to poor parents. These trends risk perpetuating intergenerational poverty and inequalities and conflict with of internationally agreed policy priorities. This chapter argues that some structuring of the childcare market by government is necessary to achieve, or at least work towards, equity. Raw childcare markets exacerbate inequality, and are unlikely to contribute to educational goals. In emerging markets, there are some, albeit problematic, controls, but there are still considerable issues over equity.

Keywords:   Low income countries, Post-socialist countries, Intergenerational poverty, Entrepreneurs, Government intervention

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