Government policies are to blame for expensive childcare


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Supply side reform is needed to reduce the cost of childcare

Commenting on the Family and Childcare Trust’s findings on rising childcare costs, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The exceptionally high cost of childcare in the UK has been pushed up by the increasing formalisation of the industry. Heavy state regulation on staff qualifications, safety measures, staff-to-children ratios, as well as the increasing burdens placed on more informal arrangements such as childminders, has resulted in childcare becoming more unaffordable than ever.

“Pressure on the sector to be part educational has also resulted in nurseries becoming more expensive, leaving parents unable to make a trade-off between high quality care and affordability.

“Further subsidies will do nothing to address the underlying causes of the high cost of childcare in the UK, but merely transfer more of the cost to taxpayers. Deregulating the sector as well as shifting the emphasis away from childcare becoming a form of pre-primary education will bring down costs considerably.”

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Notes to editors:

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.