The Sunday Telegraph writes about a new report from the IEA on government spending
“That working parents are spending a third of their pay on childcare comes as no surprise. It is a direct consequence of muddled government policy and unnecessary over-regulation.
“We now have the highest teacher:child ratios in Western Europe. The introduction of the Early Years Foundation Stage – which buries nursery staff in bureaucracy – has pushed out potential, cheaper entrants like childminders.
“And the government’s provision of ‘free’ childcare has pumped up demand while forcing out high-cost providers, reducing supply. In many areas it pays below the market rate, meaning nurseries resort to shunting costs onto ‘wraparound’ care and those parents who are not entitled to the subsidy.
“The ‘free’ care is not means tested, meaning many who could afford to pay are being subsidised while poorer families struggle to meet costs.
“Childcare already comes with a £6 billion per year price tag. The answer is not yet more subsidies, but making sure that the support government provides is targeted at those in greatest need.”