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Justice, Care, and the Welfare State$
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Daniel Engster

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198719564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198719564.001.0001

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Justice, Care, and Children

Justice, Care, and Children

(p.33) 2 Justice, Care, and Children
Justice, Care, and the Welfare State

Daniel Engster

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines a theory of justice for families with children. Until recently, political philosophers have had very little to say about justice for children. Revolutionary changes in women’s social status and the nature of the family have, however, generated new demands on the state to support children’s justice. This chapter brings together recent philosophical arguments about justice for children with recent policy studies in order to outline a just family policy. The chapter outlines detailed arguments for just policy arrangements in the areas of child cash subsidies, paid parenting leaves, public support for childcare and early education, parenting classes, and primary public education. Drawing on care ethics, this chapter argues for a more prescriptive role for the state in childrearing, including mandating that each residential parent take at least some period of paid parenting leave and some parenting training classes, and requiring children to begin preschool at age three.

Keywords:   justice, care ethics, children, family policy, child cash subsidies, paid parenting leaves, childcare and early education, preschool, parenting classes, education

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