Denmark is often portrayed as a major example of comprehensive - almost universal - day care for children. The chapter shows that in the 1950s and 1960s a fundamental change happened, from day care being focused on assisting a limited group of working mothers, to becoming a general welfare service for all families. This was the basis of the massive expansion of the day care sector in the following decades. However, the change was not uncontroversial, and looking at the debate in the 1950s, it was far from a given fact that all children should attend public day care. Day care not only triggered the classical social political questions of ‘Who gets?’, ‘Who organizes?’, ‘Who pays?’; daycare is also closely related to social and political debates about gender roles, the autonomy of families, gender equality, responsibility for and the interests of children.
Transnational Historical Perspectives on Social Policy
Edited by Pauli Kettunen and Klaus Petersen
Daniel Béland and Klaus Petersen
This chapter explores the role of ideas and language in the development of social programmes in Europe and beyond. The first part of the chapter offers a concise and critical overview of the existing literature on ideas and policy change; the second part draws attention on the understudied role of policy language and concepts, which is part of a new, cutting-edge agenda for ideational research. Overall, the chapter points to the impact of historical and transnational processes on policy change and, more specifically, on the development of the ideas and social policy nexus in Europe and elsewhere around the world