Access to Childcare and Homecare Services across Europe

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Access to Childcare and Home Care Services across Europe
This report uses EU-SILC data for 2016 to examine differences by social risk group and social class in access to care services – specifically, childcare and home care for people with an illness or disability.
The report focuses on 11 countries and four welfare regimes across Europe and examines the association between access to these services and both poverty and employment. There are three main findings.
First, countries with universal services, or a strong welfare state, provide greater access to care overall, and greater access for vulnerable social risk and social class groups. Countries with means tested services offer lower coverage which results in a greater chance of unmet need for care.
Second, certain social-risk groups have a higher chance of experiencing unmet need for childcare and home care. Social class or household composition differences within such groups cannot fully explain their likelihood of reporting unmet need. This suggests that social-risk groups are particularly vulnerable to unmet need.
Third, unmet need for childcare and home care is associated with deprivation and, in the case of childcare, non-employment. In this way, unmet need for childcare in particular may act as a barrier to labour market participation.
The reports suggests that although the analysis cannot establish a causal link between the two, unmet care need and non-employment are related, and could be a significant force for social exclusion. Policy efforts should limit the experience of unmet care needs.
This study builds on previous exploratory research for the Department and is an output of the Department’s research programme with the ESRI for the Measurement & Analysis of HouseholdIncome & Living Conditions (MAHILC).
The findings were presented at a national research conference in the ESRI on 19 September 2019.

Research Briefing: Access to Childcare and Home Care Services across Europe.

Last modified:18/09/2019