A better beginning: easing the cost of childcare – with Liam Byrne MP

Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Claire Perry MP, Conservative MP for Devizes
Anushka Asthana, Chief Political Correspondent, The Times
Ryan Shorthouse, Researcher, SMF
Ian Mulheirn, Director, SMF

High-quality formal childcare improves children’s development and helps parents stay in work. However, it remains unaffordable for many families, and this situation is set to worsen in the years ahead.

Due to the state of the public finances, the government is unable or unwilling to spend more money to help parents with the considerable costs of childcare. But there are other things government can do to help parents with the burden. A creative solution is needed.

This paper proposes an entirely new policy. In straightened times, this innovative proposal offers the only route to the universal, high-quality childcare service Britain desperately needs.