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Warner, Mildred E 2009. "(Not)Valuing Care: A Review of Recent Popular Economic Reports on Preschool in the US," Feminist Economics, 15(2)

Recently a series of popular economics reports in the United States has called for increased investment in children's early education. These reports articulate a new concept, the 'public finance value' of children, and argue for increased investment in preschool because of its positive impact on the long term fiscal health of the nation. These papers are analyzed to assess their attention to the multi-dimensional aspects of early care and education (ECE). Although these papers evaluate increased investment in preschool, they fail to recognize the need for a comprehensive system of ECE that includes support for child care and the unpaid care and education provided by parents. As a result, the reports undervalue the contributions of women and of the ECE sector itself. Feminist economics offers a broader perspective that would help these authors avoid conceptual traps and recognize the need for more comprehensive reform.

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Subject: Child Care,Economic Development