The expansion of care for children under the age of three in Germany and England constitute clear discontinuities of their welfare state traditions. These changes were justified in the political process through the increased use of scientific evidence which changed the meaning of childcare. The analysis of political discourses in the two countries shows however that al-though superficially we can see parallel developments around the same time in Germany and England, the meanings attached to childcare and the scien-tific evidence used to justify it were very different.
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