The Impact of Policy Tool Selection on Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Ireland

Bernie O'Donoghue Hynes, Dublin Institute of Technology
Noirin Hayes, Dublin Institute of Technology

Document Type Conference Paper

EECERA 2009, Nineteenth European Conference on the Quality of Early Childhood Education. 26th August - 29th August 2009. Palais des Congrès of the European Union, Strasbourg, France


This paper looks at the range of policy tools selected by the Irish State to fund and develop Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). The choice is influenced by cultural norms and ideological predisposition with Ireland demonstrating a pro-market bias and relying on a range of interdependencies and third parties for delivery of services. The tools selected by the Irish State are typically those associated with States that promote a liberal agenda, sometimes referred to as the Anglo/American model (Salamon 2002). However, a closer review of the tools characteristics in Ireland reveal a tendency to adopt a conservative corporatist (Dean 2001) stance that can discourage women’s participation in the workforce.