A far-reaching change is coming over childhood in the world’s richest countries, says a study released today by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy. According to the Innocenti Report Card 8, “The Childcare Transition”, a majority of the rising generation in economically advanced societies is now spending a significant part of childhood in out-of-home childcare. Almost 80 per cent of the three-to-six year-olds in rich countries are in some form of early childhood education and care. For the under threes, the proportion is 25 per cent, rising to more than 50 per cent in individual OECD countries.
In the last decade many countries have also begun to see sharp increases in the numbers of the children under the age of one year being cared for outside the home.