Comparative Childcare Policy Analysis Revisited: Examples of Central and Eastern Europe

Jana Javornik, University of Leeds

Comparative research routinely employs a small number of indicators to compare family policies across countries. Government expenditure, participation of children in public childcare or length of parental leave are internationally recognised policy indicators. However, they have been subject of academic controversy and are less adequate predictors of gendered policy incentives. This paper, therefore, theoretically and empirically explores and discusses how varieties of state de-familialism could be more fully captured in a cross-country perspective. It offers a methodology to reveal the latent constructs which underlie policies on parental leave and childcare services, to uncover the state assumptions about social organisation of childcare and gender roles in a country-comparative perspective. Legal regulations are central to this analysis, and combinations of policy components take centre stage. An index of state de-familialism is proposed and its analytical potential tested on eight post-socialist EU states.

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Presented in Session 36: Family Policy across the World