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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2010): Child welfare - overseas

Laws and policies to support the wellbeing of children: an international comparative analysis

E.J. Nicklett and B.E. Perron

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 19, 2010, p. 3-7

The international community has raised concerns about the extent to which countries have implemented laws and policies to support the rights and wellbeing of children. This study evaluates progress in developing such legislation in least developed and middle income countries. Responses to a survey sent to 131 UNICEF country offices show that legislation addressing child abuse and neglect, maternity leave, removal of children from the family, adoption and guardianship was widespread. Chi-square tests indicated that middle income countries had a substantially higher number of laws and policies related to child allowances, school feeding programmes, maternity leave, and day care.

The political economy of childcare in OECD countries: explaining cross-national variation in spending and coverage rates

G. Bonoli and F. Reber

European Journal of Political Research, vol. 49, 2010, p. 97-118

Over the past 20 years, childcare services have been a major area of welfare state expansion throughout the OECD. This general trend covers profound national variations. The Nordic countries and France have invested massive public funds in order to develop services. In contrast, in most of Continental and Southern Europe, governments have been much less enthusiastic, with the result that only small numbers of very young children have access to formal daycare. In the US and other liberal liberal welfare states, the government subsidises care only for low income families, but services have developed considerably. This article aims to account for these cross-national variations in childcare service provision.

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