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The Brenna Committee wanted to gain an understanding of the reasons why some families in Norway do not use day-care for their 3-5 year old children, and commissioned NOVA to investigate this. The mission was conducted as a qualitative interview survey from January to May 2010. The purposes of the study were: to reveal the different reasons why parents do not use day-care for their 3-5 year olds, and to gain insight into these parents' attitudes to and views on the pedagogical aspect of day-care; to examine parental knowledge about day-care and parents’ views on any consequences of their children’s not attending day-care; to analyse the material in the context of other relevant factors in the family and community The reasons why families do not use day-care may vary. We therefore placed emphasis on selecting informants from a wide variety of backgrounds. Combining this criterion with available statistical information, we chose four counties as the main recruitment areas: Oslo, Østfold, Vest-Agder, and Finnmark. Parents were primarily recruited through local health clinics and municipal administration as well as through open day-care centres. The informants thus recruited represented a wide range of categories in terms of educational background and income, employment, ethnicity, time of residence in Norway, place of residence, age, and number of children. Most of our informants were women. 27 interviews were conducted. The informants were asked, among other things, to explain why they did not use day-care, which alternatives they used and what they thought about day-care in comparison to these alternatives. Through the recruitment process itself, we found that: Children aged 3-5 years who do not attend day-care appear to be an even smaller group than expected, and it is rapidly diminishing; Assumptions that families who do not choose day-care for their children belong to less resourceful parts of the population may be exaggerated 1. Reasons, views, and attitudes It is difficult to point to single reasons or attitudes as main explanations. Economic and other practical and material factors do come into play, but only in a few of the families included in the survey have such conditions been decisive. Ideological considerations also played an important part in the parents’ reflections.Our informants believed that children and parents naturally belong together, that parents are the best caregivers for their children, and that only in exceptional cases is it better for children to spend most of their time with others. The parents further stated that they enjoyed being with their children, and that this enjoyment was an inextricable part of being a parent. Many of our female informants talked about the opportunity to be home with their children as a privilege and as a mutual benefit for mother and children alike, while others felt that this was a choice they were entitled to make. A few mothers also expressed that they believed women are naturally better than men at taking care of children and the home. Our female informants had made choices that at least temporarily made them, in their own view, better mothers than they had been if they had chosen full-time paid employment. It is therefore not surprising that they emphasized the importance of children's needs above the needs of employers and their own possible desire to work outside the home. Many of the informants were concerned that children need peace and quiet. To these parents, day-care was part of the excessively organized and stressful life against which they wanted to protect their children. In this perspective, day-care is a part of a larger, stress-producing system that caters to the needs of the labour market and of employers. Seen in this light it also appears reasonable, as several of the parents claimed, that day-care runs a risk of over-stimulating children. To some extent, we also found a lack of confidence that day-care staff can take as good care of each child as their parents do. Some saw this in the context of an unstable workforce in this sector. Several also pointed out that there are more children per adult in day-care institutions than in their alternative solutions, and suggested that this may lead to an intimidating and unsafe environment for children.The right to choose is fundamental to our informants, who expressed fundamentally negative views on any suggestions of compulsory day-care. However, they were mostly positive to a more widely defined school preparatory service, where they as parents could choose between day-care and alternatives to day-care. Value-based attitudes play a strong role in most of the families we have interviewed, but we can not know on the basis of this study whether it is the conviction that has led to the situation they are in or whether the need to justify the situation means that parents have drawn up their arguments on the basis of their fundamental values. In most families, however, the explanations included a combination of both kinds of causes. The rights of parents to choose on behalf of their children stand out as deeply important to a majority of our informants. 2. Knowledge of day-care, and views on consequences of not using day-care Some of our informants had themselves worked in day-care institutions, and several had pre-school teacher or other relevant education. In addition, several of them had experience of day-care in relation to their own, older children, and many planned for their children to attend day-care in the last year before starting school. The informants were generally well informed about which tasks day-care is supposed to carry out and the content of day-care.The alternatives to day-care as described by our informants also carried out many of the same tasks, but in different ways and to different degrees. What all the parents we interviewed had in common, was that they combined several options to customise the daily lives of their children and families. They combined private and public resources in complex models that typically changed over time. It seems that our informants believed that day-care institutions solve the particular task of care-giving less well than other tasks, and that this is a point where their own alternative solutions work better in relation to children's needs.Many of our informants were concerned about children's need for protection against the stress associated with modern adult life. In this context, they believed that day-care should adapt better to children’s needs for freedom, flexibility, and tranquillity rather than emphasizing their educational and social needs. These parents would have been more positive to a day-care institution that wished children welcome without strict schedules, with smaller groups and higher adult-children ratios, and with a lower level of stimulation. Several parents suggested that daily access to day-care for a reduced number of hours would be a good thing. Being in a minority position makes for feeling vulnerable to losing what one has in common with one’s children. Many of our informants focused on their own transfer of knowledge, language, and values to their children. This transfer, they said, would give the children a stronger foothold in their subsequent encounters with school and society at large. This wider transfer applied particularly to parents from a Sami background. Parents from other minority backgrounds rather emphasized the specific importance of giving their children a solid foundation in their mother tongue before exposing them to the Norwegian language. Most of the parents from immigrant background, however, believed that the last year before starting school should be used to teach children Norwegian, in order to facilitate the transition to school. They pointed out, however, that such language learning must not necessarily take place in day-care institutions. In this category of parents we also met a few who lacked information on how to proceed to apply for a place in day-care, and who found it difficult to know which day-care institution to choose. Our material indicates that parents who do not use day-care for their children mainly have good knowledge of day-care institutions. Parents are critical to day-care institutions as designed to meet the needs of employers and the labour market rather than children's need for tranquillity and care. Parents were concerned that their children should be well prepared for school, but were critical to the idea that day-care institutions’ ways of solving this task were the only or best ways to do this Parents from minority backgrounds preferred to transfer basic cultural knowledge, language and values to their children before this task was taken over by kindergarten or school. 3. Family and community contextual factors The various reasons and explanations are linked to parents' class background, ethnicity, and place of residence. However, there are also surprising similarities in our material across these differences. Our material shows that the parents construct alternative models of care and learning around the children from various elements. We have not found any grounds to argue for clear-cut class differences here. It seems more evident that parents’ ways of assembling various elements are constantly changing and adapting both in response to the children's development and to changing conditions in the families’ environments. However, we do find that parents' various minority positions, whether as ideological minority or ethnic minority, makes it important for them to protect their children against the assimilation they assume day-care implies, while through their daily practices transmitting to their children the knowledge and values that they themselves identify with. Our informants are parents who to a lesser extent than the majority of the population identify with the cultural community that the authorities speak on behalf of. At the same time, one should not exaggerate the differences between these parents and the parents of the overwhelming majority of children who currently attend day-care in Norway. The main difference is that these parents at the time of the interview did not have their 3-5 year olds in day-care institutions. The strongest common denominator among our informants is ideological in nature, and cuts across differences of class, ethnicity and place of residence.Rapporten presenterer resultatene fra en kvalitativ undersøkelse på oppdrag fra Brenna-utvalget. Retten til barnehageplass ble lovfestet i 2009. Likevel finnes det familier som ikke benytter seg av denne rettigheten. Hvilke årsaker og refleksjoner kan bidra til å forklare dette, hvilke tanker gjør foreldrene seg om barnehager, og hvilke alternativ benytter disse familiene seg av? På bakgrunn av intervjuer med et lite utvalg foreldre til 3-5-åringer, fra nord til sør i landet, belyses spørsmålene her ut fra foreldrenes perspektiv. På tvers av forskjeller i bosted, levevei, økonomi og etnisk tilhørighet enes foreldrene om at retten til å velge det man selv mener er best for sine barn, er grunnleggende. Det gjelder enten man selv mener seg best skikket til å ta seg av barna helt fram til skolestart, eller vil benytte barnehage i større eller mindre grad.