An Evolving Asian-European Dialogue
Edited by Stein Kuhnle, Per Selle and Sven E.O. Hort
Chapter 12: Conflicting ideas on Danish day care during the golden age of the Danish welfare state
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.
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