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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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Need markets be the only show in town?

Need markets be the only show in town?

(p.191) Eleven Need markets be the only show in town?
Childcare markets

Peter Moss

Policy Press

This chapter explores what happens when neoliberal capitalism becomes a hegemonic system of thought and practice, with its unswerving belief in the virtues of markets and the private, of competition and inequality, and of calculation and individual choice. But it is not a general account of this phenomenon, rather a study of how it plays out in one small part of the neoliberal world – early childhood education and care (ECEC) in England. Nor is this chapter solely critique. It is also about the possibility of thinking differently and an exercise in putting the neoliberal approach to ECEC where it belongs: in perspective, as but one of a number of alternatives, a possibility rather than a necessity. In particular, the chapter explores just one of these alternatives, an ECEC inscribed with democracy as a fundamental value. It makes the case for researching critical case studies of innovative provision and practice to understand better the conditions and processes that might stimulate and sustain alternatives. The chapter concludes it is still possible to envisage a demarketised system based on Children's Centres, each serving all families in a local catchment area and each generating a wide range of projects in response to local encounters.

Keywords:   Demarketised childcare system, Neoliberal capitalism, Alternatives, Hegemonic system

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