REPORT - SEMINAR ONE
The first seminar in this series took place on Monday 12 December 2016 at UEL's Docklands Campus. The topic was:
THE RIGHT TO A PLACE IN GERMAN CHILDCARE PROVISION - ARE CHOICE QUALITY AND EQUITY BEING REALISED?
Since the summer of 2013 every German child aged between one and six in each of the 16 German federal states has had a right to a place in early childhood provision. This momentous development has not only generated explosive growth in German childcare markets, but has also produced challenges for equitable access, service quality and parental choice.
At the start of the 10th series of this international seminar programme, ICMEC welcomed Dr Nina Hogrebe from the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster and Professor Peter Moss, Professor Emeritus at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, University College London, to discuss issues arising from the new policy. Professor Eva Lloyd, ICMEC’s director, chaired the seminar.
In her presentation 'Choice and equal access in early childhood education and care: the case of Germany' Dr Hogrebe provided an introduction to the current shape of the German early childhood system before presenting findings from her own research. This explored how services provided by different not-for-profit agencies in the federal states did increasingly reflect social segregation as a result of middle class abilities to exercise choice. Her presentation can be found here:
Professor Moss acted as discussant and introduced the debate with the seminar audience. He highlighted Germany’s achievements in creating an integrated early childhood education and care system, but in his critique of current developments there highlighted how this can still become "…a system where parental choice of provider can all too easily become provider choice of parents." His presentation can be found here:
The packed audience for this seminar engaged in a lively discussion of potential lessons for the UK early childhood systems and the need for more radical change to ensure equity in access to high quality and affordable provision.