Important reforms are taking place in children's services in the UK, with a move towards greater integration. In England, Scotland and Sweden, early childhood education and care, childcare for older children, and schools are now the responsibility of education departments. This book is the first to examine, cross-nationally, this major shift in policy. A New Deal for children?: raises important questions - about which policies work best, which welfare states are most effective and the future role of schools; examines why and how the three countries have integrated departmental responsibility for these major children's services and explores the very different consequences; through cross-national comparison, it offers new perspectives on the integration of children's services and the different ways in which it can be taken forward; addresses changing understandings of the child and childhood in each country; provides an invaluable understanding of current and possible future changes, including choices to be made about policy, provision and the workforce.
With case studies and practical examples to illustrate how changes have been implemented, this book is essential reading for practitioners, managers, politicians, trainers and researchers in children's services, including schools, early years, school-age childcare, leisure and recreation, child welfare and health.
"This study gives a fascinating insight into how three countries' early education and childcare systems are evolving in the light of new national policies. For British readers the Swedish experience is particularly thought provoking, as it has more or less broken down the old distinctions between early education and childcare, and widened the concept of 'pedagogy' to focus on children's overall development. What is startling about the Swedish system to British eyes is the emphasis on treating children as citizens from the youngest age, with all the respect that goes with that concept. This, set against the background of a naturally more egalitarian society and a system which pays childcare workers almost as much as teachers, presents an important challenge to the way we do things over here. This is a fascinating study - an essential read for anyone seriously interested in reforming early years education." David Hawker, Director, Department of Children, Families and Schools, Brighton and Hove City Council. "... an excellent text for students, the comparative element is added value." Jane Aldgate, School of Health and Social Welfare, The Open University