Early childhood investment is of major importance in human and social capital theory, but can
be a relevant issue even in policy making since there is evidence that an equity-efficiency trade-off does not exist for investments in very young people. Our analysis compares governments’ policies across OECD countries by three main dimensions: an overview of child well-being indicators and governments’ spending on children; a summary of different approaches to childcare policies for children 0-3 years of age; and a comparative analysis of the role of reconciliation policies between work and family responsibilities. The aim of this analysis is to contribute to a debate on investment in young children by posing some policy questions about the family role in childcare, the social responsibility in childrearing and the State auspices in increasing social capital formation through investment in young people and a more effective reconciliation between employment targets and family daily lives.
Key words: Childhood investment, Childcare policies, Reconciliation policies, Family policies,
Social capital formation.
JEL Classification: I38, J13, J21, J22, J81, M14