Transforming Childcare and Listening to Families

Policy in Wales and Beyond

Author(s): Wendy Ball

Language: English

Genre(s): Welsh Interest

Series: Politics and Society in Wales

  • January 2013 · 272pages · 234x156mm

  • ·Paperback - 9780708325513
  • · eBook - epub - 9781783163014
  • · eBook - mobi - 9781783163021
  • · eBook - pdf - 9780708325520

About The Book

This book draws on original research to consider the connections between childcare, family lives and social policy. The research, located in Wales in the period following devolution, concerns the capacity of policy to enhance family well-being. In interviews with mothers and fathers of young children, their day-to-day childcare arrangements are explored through the themes of gender, social networks, material circumstances and neighbourhood resources. This material provides a basis for an assessment of policy through interviews with policy-makers. The book identifies a significant gap between what matters to parents and what is currently being offered in policy and service provision


Introduction Sheila’s story: a mother’s reflections on care, work and family Setting the scene: personal influences Researching families, childcare and policy Chapter One: Shaping Childcare Policy in the United Kingdom Introduction Approaches to policy analysis New Labour’s childcare policy The Coalition, the ‘big society’ and welfare reform Conclusion: who benefits from childcare policy? Chapter Two: Devolution, Gender and Childcare: a Distinctive Policy Agenda in Wales? Introduction Policy innovation in post-devolution Wales: key political values The shaping of childcare policy in Wales, 1999 to 2012 Policy officers’ perspectives: doing things differently? Conclusion: disconnections in policy? Chapter Three: Mothers’ Perspectives on Childcare, Gender and Social Support Introduction Mothers’ reflections on care: from sensitive to intensive mothering? The educational role of mothers: the pressure to be ‘constantly creative’ Well-being, support and stress Conclusion: personal accounts and public policy Chapter Four: Different Neighbourhoods, Unequal Support? Local Childcare Services and Networks of Informal Care Introduction Childcare and neighbourhood inequalities Parents’ childcare strategies: values, challenges and informal care Parents’ use of other services for families and children Conclusion: respecting diversity, providing universal services Chapter Five: Listening to Mothers and Fathers, Disrupting Policy? Introduction Review and reflections Hearing parents? Perspectives from policy officers Conclusion: making childcare policy work in Wales Conclusion: Parenthood, Gender Relations and the Care Ethic in Wales Introduction Shaping a childcare ethic Diversity, material hardship and family lives ‘Hands on’ dads: embracing fathers’ perspectives on care Coalition and Welsh Government policies in an age of austerity Time for an alternative

About the Author(s)

Wendy Ball

Dr Wendy Ball is Honorary Research Fellow in the Centre for Children and Young People's Health and Well-Being at Swansea University.

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