Childcare in Europe
A Reflection on the Present Economic Approach
This working paper compares childcare and nursery education across three European countries: Sweden, Germany and Spain. This analysis forms the basis of a discussion on the productive value attributed to childcare and nursery education in each of those three societies, with reference to the activity’s visibility or otherwise in the current scheme of national accounts: the European System of Accounts (ESA 95).
The discussion will throw into relief the limitations inherent in the ESA 95 that stand in the way of properly accounting for activities that are clearly productive and beneficial for society but are difficult to measure in money-based terms.