From the BBC
Anand Shukla, chief executive at the Family and Childcare Trust, said: "When even part-time childcare costs outstrip the average mortgage for a family home - and many parents have to spend more than a quarter of their income on childcare - it's clear that our childcare system isn't fit for purpose.(1)
"We need a... system that helps parents who want to work and contribute to the economy and gives children the best start in life."(2)
And he called for all political parties to commit to a long-term strategy that delivers for parents, providers, and children.(3)
The report called for better use of school premises and children's centres to provide childcare, and for the government's contribution to costs to increase.(4)
1. Well, considering that Anand Shukla doesn't seem to support increasing ratios and seem to be opposed to deregulation, the system is as good as it's going to be. The ratio is currently 1:4. Even if you're paying someone minimum wage to look after kids, there's still the thing of running the business, providing facilities following all the bureaucracy etc. So, let's say double minimum wage. In which case, 1/4 of the average salary doesn't sound too far wrong.
2. Define "economy". For a lot of women, it makes more economic sense to be a housewife, and once the kids go to school, to get a part-time job. Houses have to be cleaned, meals cooked etc. That's all productive work.
3. As the Family and Childcare Trust don't want any sort of reduction in ratios or deregulation, I presume they simply mean subsidy.
4. Why should government contribute more? If it's more economical for women to stay at home and raise the kids in early years, what's wrong with that? Sure, for some women the economic value of going to work outstrips the value of being at home, but for a lot of them, it doesn't. And a lot of couples value spending time in early years with the kids rather highly (I know a programmer who quit for 5 years and is now trying to get back in).
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
From the BBC