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 – a National Childcare Contribution Scheme – to help parents manage the high costs of childcare over a number of years. In straightened times, this innovative proposal offers the only route to the universal, high-quality childcare service Britain desperately needs.