Social Investment and Childcare Expansion: A Perfect Match?

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review


The chapter first examines at a conceptual level the links between theories of social investment and childcare expansion. Although ‘the perfect match’ between the two is often taken for granted in the specialized literature as well as in policy papers, it is here argued that a more nuance approach that ‘unpacks’ this relationship is needed. The chapter will then look for elements of variation in early childhood education and care (ECEC) expansion. Despite an increase in spending over the last two decades in many European and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, wide variation still exists in the way in which ECEC develops. A trade-off is often observed between coverage and quality of provision. A crucial dividing line that determines, to a large extent, the quality of provision in ECEC is the increasing differentiation between preschool education for children aged 3 and above and childcare for younger children.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Uses of Social Investment
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780191831744
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2017


  • Childcare
  • Early years education and care
  • Social investment
  • OECD
  • Childcare expansion


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