Nowadays, raising children is regarded as the responsibility of society as whole. The Research Department “Educational institutions and welfare benefits for children” focuses on the protagonists themselves as well as the programmes and institutions that support children as they grow up.

The institutionalization of childhood is a key focus of the department’s work. Current projects look at the expansion of facilities for children aged under three and the problems this generates, as well as the structural and conceptual development of all-day schools. They observe newly established arrangements where responsibility is shared between the public sector and private organizations, analysing the impact on children's everyday experience and participation opportunities. At the same time, the department also provides stimuli for improving the quality of such programmes. Here it is also involved in international debate on issues of quality monitoring and control.

Another focus area of research work is how policy addresses issues of social inequality among children. Developments in the system of measures applied through family and social policy are observed, and the impact of these on children is analysed. In addition, the department looks into the question of how education and care programmes, as well as the various educational institutions, can help reduce unequal participation opportunities and to what extent they reproduce and reinforce such inequality. This involves the analysis of childcare culture and educational access specific to particular milieus and varying between regions.