Return of the Nanny: Public Policy towards In-home Childcare in the UK, Canada and Australia

Elizabeth Adamson, Deborah Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on early childhood education and care (ECEC) policy focuses overwhelmingly on formal, centre-based provision and, to a lesser extent, on family day care (or childminding) provided in the homes of registered carers. Comparatively little research addresses the policy treatment of care provided in the child's home by nannies and au pairs. This article examines the position of in-home childcare in Australia, the UK and Canada, and the varied nature and extent of public funding and regulation. Introducing a new dimension into comparative studies of ECEC, it also explores how shifts in migration policy in each country have intersected with ECEC funding and regulation to reshape the recruitment and employment of in-home child carers. Australia, the UK and Canada are all liberal, market-oriented countries, but there is considerable diversity in the way governments support and regulate in-home childcare, their rationales for so doing, and in the connections between childcare and migration. We argue that connecting the analysis of in-home childcare to migration policies raises new questions about the classification and comparison of ECEC policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1386-1405
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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