Rethinking Children’s Care

Edited by Julia Brannen and Peter Moss.
ISBN 0 335 20987 4
Open University Press

Care is a slippery concept whether it is used as a verb or noun.
We have day care, family care, children in care, wrap-around care.
We even have washing up liquid that cares.

This book, carefully edited by Brennen and Moss, is an
exploration of equally elusive child care and is based on research
from the 1990s to the present day.

It looks at what, if anything, the word means and draws some
thoughtful policy implications from historical and sociological

The book is divided into three parts. Part one takes an historic
perspective, explaining different concepts of the care of children
and how these have been translated into policies and practice.
Moss’s chapter is particularly helpful in its analysis of post-war

The second part looks at care relationships and practices in
formal settings. June Statham offers a helpful chapter on sponsored
day care. The final section focuses on care and family life and the
shifting patterns that affect both.

The editors conclude by looking at current trends in demographic
and social patterns, the increasingly political concept of child
care and implications for practice. There is plenty here that will
engage students and practitioners alike.

Chris Hanvey is UK director of operations,

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