Recent Trends and Changes in Czech Social Services in the European Context: the Case of Childcare and Elderly Care

Pavel Horak, Marketa Horakova, Tomas Sirovatka

Pavel Horák (Ph.D.) is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University. He received his Ph.D. in social policy and social work in 2007 for his dissertation entitled, Changing goals of state social programmes during their implementation by street-level bureaucrats. His research is focused on topics of labour market policy implementation, discretion of street-level bureaucrats, the governance of public policy and organizational flexibility. He teaches the courses: Labour Market Policy and Working with the Unemployed, Public Policy, Sociology for Social Policy and Social Work and Social Deviance. He is a regular contributor to Czech journals in the field of political science, public and social policy and social work, authoring over forty papers in reviewed periodicals and edited monographs. A number of his papers have been published in international journals such as International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Czech Sociological Review and Slovak Sociological Review.

Markéta Horáková (Ph.D.) works as Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University and as a researcher in the Research Institute of Labour and Social Affairs. She teaches courses dealing with social policy, employment services, theories of labour market policy and education policy. She has published approximately forty papers primarily devoted to unemployment, an active labour market policy and education and human resource development in a knowledge society. She has had several papers published in Slovak Sociological Review, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy and Czech Sociological Review.

Tomáš Sirovátka is Professor of Social Policy at the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, closely cooperating with the Research Institute of Labour and Social Affairs.  He has carried out a number of national as well as international research projects on social policy and employment policy. He publishes regularly in international journals (including special issues) including Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, European Journal of Social Security, International Review of Sociology, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Social Policy and Administration, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Czech Sociological Review, Prague Economic Papers and Central European Journal of Public Policy. He has contributed to several comparative books on employment and social policy, co-edited The Governance of Active Welfare States in Europe published by Palgrave/Macmillan in 2011, as well as having published numerous monographs in Czech.


Due to contemporary societal trends, social services are becoming more important in welfare state architecture than in the past. In the proposed article we deal with the question as to whether the development of selected Czech social services is following (dis)similar trends when compared to other EU countries. Two areas of social services (childcare and elderly care) will be analysed with a focus on the key aspects of governance in child care and elderly care: financing, regulation and service delivery, how they have developed over the past ten years in the Czech Republic in comparison with other states which represent different welfare policies (liberal United Kingdom, conservative Germany and social-democratic Denmark).


social services, governance, childcare, elderly care, financing, regulation, service delivery

s. 5–19