Finnish childcare policies encourage children’s participation in early childhood education, but they also support home and informal care, and private childcare by cash-for-care benefits. This dualistic model is often considered as securing equality between families, but municipal childcare systems vary increasingly. The project will examine how the municipal childcare systems condition parental childcare decisions, and hence the study scrutinises the potential sources of inequality of the systems. The focus is on possible inequalities between regions and families, and in children’s early education trajectories and wellbeing. The study applies a multimethod approach. It will be carried out in collaboration with 10 municipalities that provide different combinations of childcare services and cash benefits. The research will provide tangible models and ideas about how to support equality in Finnish childcare locally and nationally.
University Researcher Maarit Alasuutari
Unversity of Jyväskylä