How can childcare help to end child poverty?

Christine Skinner

This paper examines the contribution that childcare might make to ending child poverty, focusing on childcare policy specifically in England as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have separate strategies.

An examination of the contribution that childcare might make to ending child poverty.

Childcare provision has an indirect impact on child poverty through enabling parents to work; there may also be longer-term benefits in breaking the cycle of poverty and deprivation.

This short paper examines the contribution that childcare might make to ending child poverty.  The paper focuses on childcare policy specifically in England as, despite sharing key aspects with the English model, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have separate strategies.

Part of the JRF’s child poverty programme, the paper:

  • Reviews progress in childcare policy since the introduction of the first National Childcare Strategy in 1998;
  • Looks at the likely impact of the Government’s ten-year strategy setting out a ‘vision’ for childcare until 2010 and beyond;
  • Concludes that the extent to which current policy will increase parental employment rates and improve net earnings for parents entering jobs remains unclear, making it difficult to assess the direct impact childcare provision will have on tackling child poverty.
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