All OECD governments aim to support families and to give parents more choice in their work and family decisions. Countries differ considerably, however, in the types and intensity of support provided. These differences are rooted in countries' histories,
their attitudes towards families, the role of government and the relative weight given to the various underlying family policy objectives, such as: reconciling work and family responsibilities, helping parents to have the number of children they desire, mobilising
female labour supply, promoting gender equality, combating child and family poverty, promoting child development and generally enhancing child well‐being from an early age.