Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Publication Details

The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice published by © The Policy Press • 2011 • ISSN 1759-8273;


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The design of policy tools reveals underlying biases that are not easily identified in policy documents. A review of two early childhood education and care subsidies in Ireland aimed at different target populations exposes differential treatment of children, parents and service providers. It also demonstrates how in a split system ‘early education’ is prioritised over ‘childcare’. The designs serve to reinforce stereotypes that enable the powerful and advantaged to accrue benefits while those perceived to be less deserving are burdened through the maldistribution of resources.