ERIC Number: EJ796015
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: N/A
Mothers' Search for Infant Child Care: The Dynamic Relationship between Availability and Desirability in a Continental European Welfare State
Vandenbroeck, M.; De Visscher, S.; Van Nuffel, K.; Ferla, J.
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, v23 n2 p245-258 2008
The availability, affordability, and desirability of quality child care are matters of concern, especially for children raised in poverty, given the literature showing that young children raised in poverty can benefit from early access to quality care. The unique features of the Brussels context enable us to look at the connection between availability and parental preferences, while "controlling" environmental constraints on costs and quality. We looked at access policies in 83 funded providers, and examined 100 mothers' search for child care. The results show that quality child care was distributed unequally, favoring higher-income groups. Moreover, the access policies of individual providers furthered the exclusion of lower educated and ethnic minority parents. All parents took into account both quality and pragmatic criteria when looking for early child care, although the value of these criteria may vary according to ethnic background and education. The study also shows that access to and use of good quality care is an interactional process in which the mothers' preferences and decisions are affected by the availability of care which, in turn, is determined by external conditions.
Descriptors: Poverty, Mothers, Income, Young Children, Child Care, Foreign Countries, Social Systems, Educational Quality, Costs, Parent Attitudes, Ethnicity, Educational Attainment, Parent Background, Decision Making
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium