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The Child as a Voucher?: The Marketization of the Swedish Preschools
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (Uppsala Studies of History and Education (SHED))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6803-4010
Örebro universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3444-952X
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Swedish early childhood education has gone through a tremendous expansion since the 1970s. This massive expansion coincided with some significant changes in how early childhood education was conducted. Apart from a “schoolification” of the content in Swedish early childhood education (from primarily being a kind of day-care into more of a preschool education) the sphere of early childhood education also went through a significant change in how preschools were organized and funded. The latter process can be described as a marketization of Swedish preschools, which is one of the main focuses of the research project “The First Choice: The Expansion of Preschool, its Marketization and Increased Importance for Families’ Educational Strategies” (http://www.edu.uu.se/research/shed/projects/firstchoice/)

In this paper we will examine the emergence of the conditions for a Swedish preschool market by analyzing three different political decisions in the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s, which included a ban on profit-making preschools (1984), a waiver of the ban (1991), and the introduction of a kind of childcare voucher that allows Swedish parents to freely choose preschool for their children (2009). The study is based mainly on analyzes of parliamentary debates, but it also makes use of the extensive newspaper debate in connection with the decisions in parliament.

Our paper will focus on how the nature of preschool children and their education was discussed in these debates. Our paper will be guided by the hypothesis that the marketization of the preschool sector also implied changing visions of children and their education, whereby children were portrayed as rational agents responding to their environment, and as economic resources that enables an efficient resource distribution of the Swedish government’s resources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Preschools, Marketization, Vouchers, Lex Pysslingen
Keywords [sv]
Förskolor, marknadisering, skolpeng, Lex Pysslingen
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-358546OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-358546DiVA, id: diva2:1243126
Conference
ISCHE 40 EDUCATION AND NATURE, BERLIN, AUGUST 29 - SEPT 1 2018
Projects
Det första valet: förskolans expansion, marknadisering och ökade betydelse i familjers utbildningsstrategier
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017-03542Available from: 2018-08-30 Created: 2018-08-30 Last updated: 2019-01-09Bibliographically approved

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http://conferences.ische.org/ocs-2.3.6/index.php/2018/2018

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