This paper focuses on the impact of high-quality early education and effective early intervention, which can act as protective factors for children against the negative effects of poverty. It also highlights how access to flexible, affordable childcare can reduce pressures on family income and help parents work, train or study.
The report finds that the current UK childcare system falls short of fulfilling its potential to help reduce the effects of poverty on children:
- It does not allow children access to childcare of the standard required to improve developmental outcomes;
- Families in areas of low parental employment are less likely to have access to flexible childcare; and
- Support with childcare costs does not work well for parents with low incomes.
The report calls for an anti-poverty childcare system which maximises on quality and removes the barriers of affordability and access to parents on low incomes.