Childcare is a broad term, which can be defined as care for children outside of compulsory schooling or for those younger than compulsory school age. This service is usually provided for children from infancy to age 12 years, can be through formal or informal services, and can be centre based or family based. A principal function of childcare is to enable parents to participate in employment, although it also seeks to help alleviate poverty and improve child development. This entry examines the historical emergence of childcare, the main features of childcare, and key issues relating to the subject.

The History of Childcare

The single breadwinner model, which in the developed world was the dominant model until the 1960s, rarely required external childcare. An exception to this, however, ...

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