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Linking formal child care characteristics to children's socioemotional well-being: A comparative perspective

Verhoef, M., Plagnol, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-5705-8949 & May, V. (2018). Linking formal child care characteristics to children's socioemotional well-being: A comparative perspective. Journal of Child and Family Studies, doi: 10.1007/s10826-018-1185-2


Most research on formal child care and children’s outcomes has focused on single countries. We, however, contend that policy context may moderate the association between formal child care characteristics and children’s socioemotional well-being. We examined this by comparing the Netherlands, Finland and the UK; three countries that differ regarding family policies. Of these three countries, Finland was recently ranked highest (ranked 1st) with regards to quality of child care in a recent analysis by the Economist ,followed by the UK (ranked 3rd) and then the Netherlands (ranked 7th) .We hypothesized that children who attend child - care settings in countries with higher- uality formal child- are provision would generally show better socioemotional outcomes. Data from the comparative ‘F amilies 24/7’ survey were used, including 990 parents with children aged 0–12. We distinguished between two age groups in our analysis. Results indicated that, compared to the UK, longer hours in formal care were less beneficial in the Netherlands. Furthermore, spen ding time in formal care during nonstandard hours was more harmful for children in Finland compared to the UK. Lastly, receiving care from multiple caregivers was more disruptive for British children than for Dutch children. No differences were found between Finland and the Netherlands.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: child-care arrangements, child well-being, parental employment, comparative research
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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