The Consequences for Caring Mothers
Edited by Jorma Sipilä, Katja Repo and Tapio Rissanen
Chapter 5: Cash-for-Childcare Schemes in Sweden: History, Political Contradictions and Recent Developments
5. Cash-for-childcare schemes in Sweden: history, political contradictions and recent developments Anita Nyberg INTRODUCTION Sweden is known as a country that supports a dual-earner–dual-carer model. This is supported by publicly financed childcare, parental leave, separate taxation and individual rights in the social security system. There is also another rather long, but much less prominent and well-known history of cash-for-childcare (CFC)1 in Sweden. CFC encourages a traditional gender division of labour, with the woman at home and the man as a breadwinner. Two different CFC schemes have been introduced in Sweden: one in 1994 and more recently on 1 July 2008. The aim of this chapter is to present the historical background of these schemes as well as the political argumentation and consequences related to them. The emphasis of the chapter, however, is on the most recent scheme, its implementation, use and the public debate related to it. CASH-FOR-CHILDCARE OR SERVICES The question whether the government should support women’s care work through CFC benefits or women’s employment by expanding publicly financed childcare centres was discussed in Sweden after World War II (Abukhanfusa, 1987; Hatje, 1999; Lundqvist, 2007). At that time, differences in the argumentation of CFC between the different political parties were not yet very clear, not even within the parties. For example, within the Social Democratic Party, which was the dominating party, there were different opinions. In 1964, a decision-in-principle was taken at the Social Democratic Party Congress to support CFC and 65 M2439 - SIPILA PRINT.indd 65...
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