Childcare, Early Education and Social Inequality
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Childcare, Early Education and Social Inequality

An International Perspective

Edited by Hans-Peter Blossfeld, Nevena Kulic, Jan Skopek and Moris Triventi

Recognising that social change over recent decades has strengthened the need for early childhood education and care, this book seeks to answer what role this plays in creating and compensating for social inequalities in educational attainment.
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Chapter 2: Who cares for the children? Family social position and childcare arrangements in Italy, 2002–12

Ylenia Brilli, Nevena Kulic and Moris Triventi


This chapter focuses on socio-economic determinants of the use of formal childcare for children below 24 months old in Italy. Beyond looking at the overall relationship between family social position and childcare arrangements, the chapter also investigates the variation in childcare use over time, and across the Italian territory. We rely on the data from three waves of the Italian Survey of Births for 2002, 2005, and 2012. The chapter concludes that there is an important socio-economic inequality in the use of early infant care in Italy: both mother’s education and father’s occupation have a bearing on the use of childcare, although mother’s education appears to be more relevant. Also, there is a growth of socio-economic differences in participation in the formal infant care over time, which is particularly evident in the Northern regions in comparison to the South. The expansion of mostly private formal childcare supply from 2002 to 2012, which took place particularly in the North of the country, is offered as a tentative explanation for these trends.

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