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Journal Article

Child Day Care Provision: explaining local variation


Publication date

01 Jan 2001


This paper offers an initial assessment of child day care provision in day nurseries, in playgroups, and with child minders for children under the age of five at the local authority level across the United Kingdom from 1987 to 1992; and in England from 1973 to 1995. This paper is based both on those provision statistics which remain available and on interviews with officials in six English local authorities. In general, inner London authorities have offered the highest level of provision. In line with national government priorities, those authorities ranked on scales based on Census data as most deprived have directly funded more places, however, the largest growth in total provision has been in authorities defined as least deprived. Higher rates of economic activity among women and higher proportions of women elected to local authority seats are also associated with higher levels of provision. Authorities which historically have enjoyed higher levels provision were more likely both to include elected officials supportive of public day care provision and to experience activism among parents seeking to stave off cuts or to increase the numbers of places available.

Published in

Children & Society

Volume and page numbers

15 , 170 -180





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