This insightful book examines the meaning of, and impacts on, cash-for-care systems for mothers of small children. The contributors present a comprehensive overview of the major political and economic contradictions, theoretical debates concerning cash-for-care, and explore the possibility of implementing it into the social policy system. In social research, cash-for-care is often described as a reactionary benefit that operates against the women's interests. Economists, in turn, ask why the state should pay for reducing female employment and for care that is given anyway. Nevertheless, 'woman-friendly' Nordic countries have introduced cash-for-childcare schemes and many parents are willing to use them. The book examines the payment schemes as a complex whole, where on the one hand the scheme responds to the parents' desires, but on the other, produces some questionable consequences. The authors highlight conditions in which cash-for-childcare schemes would not reflect any anachronism but instead will function as a useful tool of contemporary social policy. This unique book provides a broad theoretical and empirical view on cash for childcare.
It will prove invaluable for academics of social work and policy. Politicians, social policy administrators and labour market researchers interested in family issues will also find this important resource an enriching read.