The Politics of Childcare Policy Expansion in Central America


Since the beginning of the 21st century, childcare policies have been at the center of government agendas in Latin American countries, especially within the context of the second inclusive expansion of social protection and the Pink Tide in the region (circa 2003-2014). However, these policies have shown different outcomes regarding social inclusion and gender equality. I propose to delve into political economy explanations of the diversity of childcare policy outcomes in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, through the comparative sequential method for multiple cases. Based on an actor-centered perspective, I will analyze the strategic actions that stakeholders deploy and articulate to influence the policy processes, as well as the weight of social policy legacies, and structural variables such as demographic trends and female labor participation. With this research, I aim to generate theoretical explanations that allow a better understanding of the political process behind social policy in Central America.