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Title: Rolling back of the state in child care? Evidence from urban China
Authors: Zhang, Y. 
Maclean, M.
Keywords: Care
Child care
Work unit
Issue Date: 2012
Citation: Zhang, Y., Maclean, M. (2012). Rolling back of the state in child care? Evidence from urban China. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 32 (11) : 664-681. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Purpose: The economic reforms which turned the centrally planned economy to a market economy have profoundly changed the tripartite relationship between the state, work unit, and citizen in urban China and brought significant changes to the institutional care provision for young children. The aim of this paper is to investigate the changes to the institutional care since 1980, with particular emphasis on the most recent years from mid-1990s, and explore how the institutional care has changed over the recent decades without a clear institutional basis. Design/methodology/approach: The analysis draws on second-hand materials from published literature, a range of longitudinal national and local statistics and policy documents, and also on first-hand information which was collected in Beijing from in-depth interviews with key informants and case studies of different kinds of kindergartens. Findings: The paper finds that the previous work-unit based public care system has changed to a much more complicated care mix in which the roles of the state, employer, community, market and the informal sector of the family in terms of provision and funding have all changed significantly. Social implications: The findings of this paper may help to inform appropriate policy responses in Chinese child care provision. The study suggests that formal care provision should be expanded towards universal access regardless of people's income and employment status in China. Originality/value: The paper questions and complicates the "state withdrawal" representation of social welfare change and argues that it is not "the state" but "the work unit and community organization" retreat from public care provision. It also argues that the change in the role of the state has been multifaceted, and not a simple one-directional movement of marketization in which the state retreated from welfare provision in entirety. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Source Title: International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
ISSN: 0144333X
DOI: 10.1108/01443331211280700
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