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Abstract

In Ireland the policy has been to view childcare as parent's private responsibility resulting in a dearth of public provision, regulation or support for parents since the foundation of the state. Utilising current literature in the field, this paper discusses the need to develop a flexible and responsive childcare system for all children, with special consideration given to the preventive role of childcare for "at risk" children. The gradual emergence of state responsibility for childcare is explored as is the need that this be informed by parents and the often forgotten key stakeholder - children.

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