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The Child as a Voucher?: The Marketization of the Swedish Preschools
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3444-952X
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
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
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-71075OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-71075DiVA, id: diva2:1274677
Conference
40th annual conference of the International Standing Conference for the History of Education (ISCHE 40), Berlin, Germany, August 29 - September 1, 2018
Available from: 2019-01-02 Created: 2019-01-02 Last updated: 2019-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Westberg, Johannes

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf