Market-based approaches to service provision are heterogeneous. The point is often lost in comparative welfare state research due to the dominance of the welfare regime approach, which emphasizes the prevailing locus of provision (state, market or family) over other dimensions of a mixed economy: finance and regulation. Comparing the cases of the British and American approaches to early childhood education and care, this paper argues that these broadly similar ‘liberal’ welfare regimes exhibit qualitatively different approaches to market-based service provision – market manager (UK) versus market moderator (US) – through the state’s role as financier and regulator. Evidence is drawn from a variety of primary and secondary sources, including prior academic studies, national policy documents, and national and international statistics.
- Early childhood education and care
- United Kingdom
- United States of America