What characterizes municipalities when making child-related choices in preventive policy?
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Introduction: The Integrated Early Aid network with national coverage of the Netherlands has become highly fragmented since the decentralization of 2015. This has consequences for the care of young children with a complex developmental delay and/or behavioral problems and their parents. Objective: By providing insight into where Integrated Early Aid is still offered and where not, and by looking at which municipal factors influence this, the national coordinator can better support municipalities and try to recreate the nationwide network as much as possible. Theory: The Rational Choice Theory has been taken as a starting point, which is combined with internal and external factors. Investigated are motivation, obstacles, and resources, and how these influence policy decisions. Method: Data was collected with a quantitative study. The policy was measured based on a survey and open data was used for the municipal factors. Binomial logistic regressions were utilized to investigate the relationships. Results: The policy was positively influenced by the obstacle factor information. Resources had no effect and motivation showed different effects. Conclusion and implications: Not all factors were relevant in influencing IEA. The dominant factor was information, which refers to the policy learning principle, in which municipalities look at each other and adopt each other's policies. In contrast with earlier research, resources had no effect. This may have to do with the preventive nature of IEA and the dominant short-term orientation in many policy fields. Further research into fragmented preventive policy is recommended.