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Bright Blue has called for the Government to offer all parents income-contingent childcare loans.

A new survey conducted by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission has found that 6 in 10 working class parents have been deterred from working longer hours because of fears over childcare costs.

In response Director of Bright Blue, Ryan Shorthouse, said:

“There is solid evidence that participation in formal childcare from the age of two enhances children’s educational development, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. We need to have a system where all children from the age of two can, and are expected to, access pre-school education.

“Despite increased subsidies from government since the mid-1990s, childcare remains unaffordable for too many families. This situation could change tomorrow if government offered all parents income-contingent loans to pay for childcare. Similar to the loans students get to go to university, parents would pay these back only when they are working and earning above a certain income. This support could be on top of the generous support they already receive from government.”

For further details about this proposed childcare loans system, see Ryan’s paper A better beginning. Bright Blue also published a paper last year on social networks arguing that it should be compulsory for all parents of 3 and 4 years to take their child to pre-school education for 15 hours a week through the Early Years Free Entitlement.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For further media enquiries, please contact our Communications Manager of Bright Blue, Laura Round, on laura@brightblue.org.uk or 07543759844.