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Journal Articles European Journal of Public Health Year : 2019

How early childhood services address health inequalities and child wellbeing in France

Carine Simar


Early childhood (0-6 years old) is a key period when talking about health inequalities (HI) and child wellbeing. Over the past decades, research has shown the importance of early investment. In France, early childhood is a period covered by different public policies and different stakeholders from different sectors, i.e. health, education, childcare facilities, social affairs, recreational activities, etc. Both coverage of 0-6 years and intersectorality, are rarely connected in the literature. Based on Bronfenbrenner ecological approach, the Récits project aims to better understand how issues related to HI and child wellbeing are addressed at a local level within local policies as well as by professionals from the different sectors. It also aims to better understand the relations established by families with those professionals. Two French départements are studied: Allier (03) and Ille-et-Vilaine (35); both are characterised by social and spatial HI. Within these departments, two local authorities were selected as case studies for in depth analysis: secondary analysis of social and health indicators are carried out and qualitative data are gathered through the collection of institutional documents, observations and interviews with local decision-makers, professionals and families. First results, focusing on local public policies and how they are implemented by local stakeholders, highlight the diversity of the strategies developed according to the local social context and to the sector. Partnership between the different sectors is valued in policies however the way they work varied, notably, depending on the history of the collaboration. By clarifying the issues related to the articulation between public policies, local interventions and individual and collective practices of early childhood professionals, this research will contribute to improve and develop strategies to reduce HI and support children and families with respect to their expectations

Dates and versions

hal-02447443 , version 1 (21-01-2020)



Marie-Renée Guével, Philippe Cury, François Bissège, Julie Pironom, Agnès Dollet, et al.. How early childhood services address health inequalities and child wellbeing in France. European Journal of Public Health, 2019, 29 (Supplement_4), ⟨10.1093/eurpub/ckz186.155⟩. ⟨hal-02447443⟩
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