Family Day Care: International Perspectives on Policy, Practice and Quality

Family Day Care: International Perspectives on Policy, Practice and Quality

Family Day Care: International Perspectives on Policy, Practice and Quality

Family Day Care: International Perspectives on Policy, Practice and Quality


Child Welfare Policy and Practice - Issues and Lessons Emerging from Current Research explores the implications of recent research for all those concerned with child welfare and social work. It addresses the present concerns as expressed by Government bodies and central Government enquiries regarding the services and policies relating to children in need of care and attention.

The book deals with social care issues that are common within the UK as well as covering specific aspects of Scottish and Irish child welfare. The current areas of concern covered by the contributors include:

the development of children's service plans

operationalisation of recent child care legislation

management of the transition of young people with disabilities from childhood to adulthood

use of live video links with child witnesses.

The book also discusses the results of a long term, follow-up study of twenty years duration of failure-to-thrive children.

In conclusion the book puts forward recommendations for influencing future policy and practice in child care. It is essential reading for social work students, social work policy-makers, day care and social workers, teachers, doctors, lawyers and psychologists.


This book had its origins in an international conference organized by the European Early Childhood Education Research Association, which was held at the Institute of Education, University of London in August 2000. At the conference, a group of researchers in the field of family day care met to discuss their work, and realized that there was much to be learnt from comparing the way family day care is organized and understood in different countries. Although much has been written about day care centres, the care of children by non-relatives in a home-based setting has received very little attention. This is despite the fact that such care is often the main type of formal provision used by working parents for children under the age of three.

We therefore decided to bring together a collection of chapters by key family day care researchers, describing how family day care operates in their countries and presenting findings from recent or ongoing research. Additional contributions were invited from a number of countries not represented in our original group, to ensure the inclusion of a range of welfare systems, different ways of organizing child care services, and different stages of family day care development (expanding, declining or newly emerging). Countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain, where family day care is a relatively uncommon type of formal child care service, have not been included.

We would like to acknowledge the support of colleagues within the Thomas Coram Research Unit, in particular Peter Moss, whose encouragement and support played a key role in the genesis of this book. We would also like to thank the family day care researchers for their patience in coping with the many demands we have made of them during the editing process. Their chapters raise a number of common issues and concerns that all countries currently have to address. We hope that this book will encourage reflection and contribute to the debate about how family day care may develop in the future.

Ann Mooney and June Statham

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