Ylenia Brilli, Nevena Kulic and Moris Triventi
This chapter focuses on socio-economic determinants of the use of formal childcare for children below 24 months old in Italy. Beyond looking at the overall relationship between family social position and childcare arrangements, the chapter also investigates the variation in childcare use over time, and across the Italian territory. We rely on the data from three waves of the Italian Survey of Births for 2002, 2005, and 2012. The chapter concludes that there is an important socio-economic inequality in the use of early infant care in Italy: both mother’s education and father’s occupation have a bearing on the use of childcare, although mother’s education appears to be more relevant. Also, there is a growth of socio-economic differences in participation in the formal infant care over time, which is particularly evident in the Northern regions in comparison to the South. The expansion of mostly private formal childcare supply from 2002 to 2012, which took place particularly in the North of the country, is offered as a tentative explanation for these trends.
Jan Skopek, Moris Triventi and Sandra Buchholz
This chapter examines the role of differentiation in secondary education in social inequality of educational opportunities. In general, schooling plays an ambivalent role in shaping educational inequality. We highlight two seemingly contradictory but complementary perspectives of schooling, that is, as ‘equalizer’ versus ‘locus of reproduction of inequality’. The common practice of educational differentiation can be seen as a key mechanism of reproduction that is operating in all education systems, sometimes in more and sometimes in less overt forms. Focusing on the role of school tracking as a specific form of educational differentiation, our chapter reviews various research designs in contemporary comparative studies on the impact of tracking on social inequality in educational opportunities and outcomes. We identify cross-national research as a major research strategy for learning about effects of educational systems and discuss two generic approaches – variable based versus case based – as well as their respective strengths and limitations. Finally, our chapter presents recent comparative evidence on the effect of tracking on social inequality in learning outcomes of students.