An interesting report from The Social Market Foundation explores a new way to support the affordability of formal childcare for working parents.
It is based on a similar approach to the student loans model and aims to spread the load of childcare costs over a longer period of time.
The advantages for parents would be that the significant costs of childcare would be lessened immediately, and may well enable parents to continue in working arrangements without the worry of escalating childcare costs.
For the government there would be no cost and it would bolster incentives to work, helping to make work pay, as well as the drive to ensure the access to high quality early years care and education.
This would seem to be a solution to families who are in long term employment and have a foreseeable future in their careers. It could be a positive step in ensuring that childcare costs can be calculated into their budgets over time.
It will be interesting to see if it is an option for part time and casual employment, or is an incentive to start looking for work in an environment where being unable to pay in the short term is the main driver to making the decision to return to work or not.
The Social Market Foundation, a think tank developing innovative ideas on social and economic policy.