Epistemic governance in local policy debates : The case of entitlement to early childhood education and care in Finland
Paananen, Maiju; Alasuutari, Maarit; Karila, Kirsti; Siippainen, Anna (2020). Epistemic governance in local policy debates : The case of entitlement to early childhood education and care in Finland. European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 7 (1), 52-74. DOI: 10.1080/23254823.2019.1650651
Published inEuropean Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology
Embargoed until: 2021-03-09Request copy from author
© 2019 Taylor & Francis
In Finland, children below school age have enjoyed the right to attend subsidised full-time early childhood education and care (ECEC). However, the attendance rate in Finland is low in comparison to other Nordic countries. Furthermore, the entitlement was restricted to 20 h per week in 2016 unless the child’s parents work or study full-time or unless it is believed that the child will benefit from full-time ECEC. The debates concerning restrictions in ECEC entitlement in three municipal councils serve as the data for this study. By using the framework of epistemic governance, we identify three differing constructions of the ECEC’s societal functions in the municipal policy debates. The similarities and differences between these constructions aid us to understand recent changes in ECEC policies. This case illustrates how focusing on epistemic governance on local-level policy debates opens interesting insights in policy changes more generally.