Child Care Costs and Quality – What Britain can Learn from its Northern Neighbors

Heejung Chung

When Britons stare at the blue dot on their pregnancy test, the first question that springs to mind might not be “Do you think it’ll be a boy or a girl?” As childcare in Britain is ranked among the most expensive in the world, probably the first thing that comes to their minds is, “How are we going to afford the childcare?”

In her latest research, Heejung Chung (University of Kent), researcher in the NORFACE Welfare State Futures Project “Our Children’s Europe”, an international project that examines attitudes towards the welfare state and its future development in six European countries, together with her colleague Bart Meulemann (Centre for Sociological Research, University of Leuven), compared parents’ attitudes towards publicly-provided childcare services across Europe. Unsurprisingly, the results showed that Britons had one of the lowest levels of support for publicly-provided childcare – with only the Dutch and Slovakians scoring lower out of the 23 countries surveyed. On the other hand, people living in Denmark, the poster child of childcare provision, ranked number one in their support of publicly-provided childcare.

Heejung Chung´s blog article on The Conversation can be accessed here. More in-depth information can be retrieved from the underlying research article published in the Journal of European Societies via Taylor & Francis Online (Open Access).