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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2008): Child welfare - overseas

Center-based early childhood education and care in China: policies, trends and implications

F. Zhai and Q. Gao

Asian Social Work and Policy Review, vol. 2, 2008, p. 127-148

The development of early childhood education and care programmes in China has been closely linked to social, economic and demographic changes. During the first three decades of the Communist regime, the main objectives of early childhood education and care focused on the health and custodial care of children. Since the economic reforms and the one-child policy were launched in the late 1970s, the system's core mission has changed to one of nurturing children and offering child-centred education. Many programmes have been privatised, merged with others or closed down. Consequently, costs of services have been rising and the number of children enrolled has been steadily declining. Programmes vary significantly across the country, but overall the quality is still quite low.

Child daycare policy in Japan: an examination of the program and its impacts

H.A. Palley and C. Usui

Journal of Comparative Social Welfare, vol. 24, 2008, p. 165-178

Recent reforms of Japan's child daycare policies have moved in the direction of deregulation, increased privatisation, and public-private partnerships. These reforms have substantially increased the availability and diversity of services, but have given rise to issues of lack of equal access, since, with privatisation, high quality services cost more. In municipally provided services, parents are also paying an increased proportion of childcare costs. The government has been reluctant to substantially increase public expenditure on childcare and other family support initiatives to redress the balance.

A comparative study of child abuse and protective measures in Goa and Singapore

M. Desai

Journal of Comparative Social Welfare, vol. 24, 2008, p. 119-131

This article aims to compare the situation regarding child abuse and measures to protect against it in Goa and Singapore in terms of strengths and gaps, and similarities and differences. Data were acquired through a literature review, visits to institutions and meetings with key personnel. It is concluded that Goa and Singapore need to address socio-economic problems, adultism, patriarchy, and, in India, the caste system to protect children from abuse.

A cost benefit analysis of transitional services for emancipating foster youth

T. Packard and others

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 30, 2008, p. 1267-1278

Over 24,000 young people left foster care in the USA in 2005 on reaching the age of majority. These former foster youth make up a disproportionately high percentage of the unemployed, homeless and prison populations. To address these adverse outcomes for care leavers, the authors propose that the young people should receive financial and other practical and emotional support from the state for up to five years after leaving foster care. A detailed cost benefit analysis documents expected costs and key benefits of such a programme.

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