Early education and care has become a central policy area in many countries. As services expand rapidly, it is crucial to examine whether children from disadvantaged backgrounds receive provision of the highest possible quality.
In this original, topical book, leading experts from eight countries examine how early education and care is organised, funded and regulated in their countries. Bringing together recent statistical evidence, the book gives an up-to-date picture of access to services by different groups, providing rich insights on how policies play out in practice, and the extent to which they help or hinder disadvantaged children to receive high quality provision.
An equal start? reveals the common tensions and complexities countries face in ensuring that early education and care is affordable, accessible and of high quality. Its critical examination of the potential for better policies ensures that An equal start? will be of interest to academic readers as well as policy makers and practitioners.
Ludovica Gambaro was at the time of writing Research Officer at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) and is now Research Officer at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education, University of London.
Kitty Stewart is Associate Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Research Associate at CASE.
Jane Waldfogel is Compton Foundation Centennial Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work, USA, and Visiting Professor at CASE, London School of Economics and Political Science.
Introduction ~ Ludovica Gambaro, Kitty Stewart and Jane Waldfogel;
Equal access to early childhood education and care? The case of the UK ~ Ludovica Gambaro, Kitty Stewart and Jane Waldfogel;
Towards universal quality early childhood education and care: the Norwegian model ~ Anne Lise Ellingsæter;
Equal access to quality care: Lessons from France on providing high quality and affordable early childhood education and care ~ Jeanne Fagnani
Equal Access to High Quality Child Care in the Netherlands ~ Y. Emre Akgündüz and Janneke Plantenga;
Access and quality issues in early childhood education and care: the case of Germany ~ Pamela Oberhuemer;
New Zealand case study: A narrative of shifting policy directions for early childhood education and care ~ Helen May;
Early Education and Care in Australia: Equity in a market-based system? ~ Deborah Brennan and Marianne Fenech;
Delivering High-Quality Early Childhood Education and Care to Low-Income Children: How Well is the US Doing? ~ Katherine Magnuson and Jane Waldfogel;
Common challenges, lessons for policy ~ Kitty Stewart, Ludovica Gambaro, Jane Waldfogel and Jill Rutter.