EARLY YEARS ORGANISATIONS ARE CALLING FOR A COMPLETE OVERHAUL TO THE WAY CHILDCARE IS FUNDED, IN RESPONSE TO A REPORT BY THE THINK TANK IPPR, WHICH CALLS FOR UNIVERSAL CHILDCARE TO BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR ALL PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN.

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The report, No more baby steps: a strategy for revolutionising childcare, makes a number of recommendations, including extending the two-year-old offer to all families and funding places for three-and four-year-olds for 48 weeks a year, up from the current 38 weeks.

Similar recommendations were made in a report earlier this month from the IPPR, but the new report sets out the financial measures needed for the plans.

The IPPR has costed its proposals at £2.5 billion to be carried out within the next Parliament and says they could be paid for through scrapping the marriage tax allowance, capping tax-free pension lump sums and freezing child benefit for children over five.

However, sector organsiations say that unless the funding system is reformed the proposals would be unsustainable.

The report argues for a shift to the way that childcare is currently funded through credits and tax relief to supply-side funding, but with price controls to put a cap on parents’ fees.

This would enable more parents to work and improve children’s development, the think tank says. Read full article…

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