Childcare Arrangements for Preschool-Aged Children

  • Borbála Kovács


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.


  1. Berescu, C., Celac, M., Ciobanu, O., & Manolache, C. (2006). Locuirea și sărăcia extremă—Cazul romilor. [Housing and extreme poverty—The case of Roma]. Bucharest: Editura Universitară Ion Mincu.Google Scholar
  2. Chase, E., & Bantebya-Kyomuhendo, G. (2015). Poverty and shame: Global experiences (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ciucu, C. (2010). Faza cu cresele. Optiuni pentru guvernantii fara idei [The issue of nurseries. Alternatives for decision-makers without ideas]. Scholar
  4. Gordon, R. A., & Hognas, R. S. (2006). The best laid plans: Expectations, preferences, and stability of child-care arrangements. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68, 373–393. Scholar
  5. Kovács, B. (2015a). “The totality of caring”: Conceptualising childcare arrangements for empirical research. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 35, 699–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kovács, B. (2015b). Managing access to full-time public daycare and preschool services in Romania: Planfulness, cream-skimming and “interventions.” Journal of Eurasian Studies, 6, 6–16. Scholar
  7. Kovács, B. (2015c). Romanian families: Changes and continuities over recent decades. In Z. Rajkai (Ed.), Family and social change in socialist and postsocialist societies (pp. 250–299). Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  8. Kovács, B., Polese, A., & Morris, J. (2017). Adjusting social welfare and social policy in Central and Eastern Europe: Growth, crisis and recession. In P. Kennett & N. Lendvai-Bainton (Eds.), Handbook of European social policy (pp. 194–217). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kremer, M. (2007). How welfare states care: Culture, gender and parenting in Europe. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Morgan, D. (2002). Sociological perspectives on the family. In A. Carling, S. Duncan, & R. Edwards (Eds.), Analysing families: Morality and rationality in policy and practice (pp. 147–164). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Saxonberg, S. (2014). Gendering family policies in post-communist Europe: A historical-institutional analysis. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Skinner, C. (2005). Coordination points: A hidden factor in reconciling work and family life. Journal of Social Policy, 34, 99–119. Scholar
  13. Stefansen, K., & Farstad, G. R. (2010). Classed parental practices in a modern welfare state: Caring for the under threes in Norway. Critical Social Policy, 30, 120–141. Scholar
  14. Walker, R. (2014). The shame of poverty (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

Personalised recommendations