Considers the concept of “employee child care” and argues that it is problematic for a number of reasons. An alternative approach is advocated, based on an integrated, coherent and multi‐functional system of early childhood care and education services for all children and their carers, which does not treat children of employed parents in isolation from other children; examples of this broad approach are given. In conclusion, argues that an opportunity has been wasted to review services in the context of a wider consideration of policies to promote the reconciliation of parental employment and caring for children and of the role of employers with respect to reconciliation. Instead, a decontextualized advocacy of “employee child care” has been able to develop, virtually unchallenged, in a climate dominated by labour market concerns.
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