Childcare, Choice and Class Practices

Middle Class Parents and their Children

By Carol Vincent, Stephen J. Ball

© 2004 – Routledge

190 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415362177
pub: 2006-02-23
US Dollars$61.95
Hardback: 9780415362160
pub: 2006-02-09
US Dollars$190.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Childcare is a topic that is frequently in the media spotlight and continues to spark heated debate in the UK and around the world. This book presents an in-depth study of childcare policy and practice, examining middle class parents’ choice of childcare within the wider contexts of social class and class fractions, social reproduction, gendered responsibilities and conceptions of ‘good’ parenting.

Drawing on the results of a qualitative empirical study of two groups of middle class parents living in two London localities, this book:

  • takes into account key theoretical frameworks in childcare policy, setting them in broader social, political and economic contexts
  • considers the development of the UK government’s childcare strategy from its birth in 1998 to the present day
  • highlights the critical debates surrounding middle class families and their choice of childcare
  • explores parents’ experiences of childcare and their relationships with carers.

This important study comes to a number of thought-provoking conclusions and offers valuable insights into a complex subject. It is essential reading for all those working in or studying early years provision and policy as well as students of sociology, class, gender and work.


'This book would be of interest to academics and policy makers, especially those working in early years provision. In addition students of sociology, gender studies and social policy may gain valuable insight into a complex set of issues. Finally the book could also appeal to or at least enlighten parents facing decisions about their own children's education.' - Gender and Education

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Contextualising the Study 3. Childcare Policy: International, National and Local Perspectives 4. Middle Class Families 5. Inside the 'Black Box' of the Family: Gender Relations and Childcare 6. Power, Control and Communication: The Hidden Logics of Childcare Relations? 7. 'Making Up' the Middle Class Child 8. Conclusion: A Market in Love?

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Classroom Management
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Parenting / Child Rearing