The Consequences for Caring Mothers
Edited by Jorma Sipilä, Katja Repo and Tapio Rissanen
Chapter 2: Cash vs Care: A Child and Family Policy Issue
2. Cash vs. care: a child and family policy issue Sheila B. Kamerman and Shirley Gatenio Gabel INTRODUCTION This chapter is about the relationship between cash benefits (money) and care (services) and how they constitute alternative policy strategies for achieving the same or different goals. One thesis is that child-conditioned cash benefits, on the one hand, and childcare services, on the other, represent the various ways that individual countries solve the contradictory pressures of labor market and demographic objectives: increased female labor force participation and rising maternal employment; higher fertility rates; reconciling work and family life; gender equity; parental nurturing; and child development. Sometimes, different policies may be enacted to achieve the same goals, such as expanding the supply of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services by subsidizing providers or subsidizing consumers; and sometimes the same policy may be enacted to achieve different goals, such as providing a cash benefit to support a mother at home or providing a cash benefit to permit a mother to purchase out-ofhome childcare and enter the labor force. Most of the literature on cash and care focuses on the elderly and/or disabled and most focuses on cash for care. Here, our focus is on children, especially young children, and on cash as an alternative to care as well as a strategy for providing care. We begin with a discussion of the context in which the cash versus care debate has emerged. THE CONTEXT Key features of social policy toward families and young children...
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