Childcare Arrangements for Preschool-Aged Children
Sharing the structure of the previous two chapters, the present discussion commences with an account of the care ideals and the hierarchies of care ideals that lay at the heart of care decisions for children of preschool age. The chapter then expands on the two most widely relied on care arrangements for children aged three-to-five and the rationales that underpinned parents’ choice between part-time and full-time (or, indeed, no) preschool tuition. The chapter also engages with income- and qualification-based differences in access to part-time and full-time public preschool, respectively, showing how lower-income families were often channelled towards part-time institutions through various formal and informal mechanisms, with long-term implications especially for less educated mothers’ labour market participation and employment trajectories. The chapter concludes with the argument that Romanian families with young children would welcome ECEC service expansion both for under-threes as well as for preschool-aged children in the form of universal full-time tuition.
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