A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) suggests that universal childcare could be made available for all parents.
No More Baby Steps: A Strategy for Revolutionising Childcare makes recommendations that include extending the two-year-old offer to all families and increasing funding places for three-and four-year-olds from 38 to 48 weeks per year.
The IPPR suggests that in order to cover the estimated £2.5 billion costs of the proposals, marriage tax allowance could be scrapped, tax-free pension lump sums capped and child benefit for children over five frozen.
It favours price-controlled, capped, supply-side funding: a significant move away from current funding through credits and tax relief.
The IPPR believes that £750 million could be saved by 2020 in extra taxes and lower benefits, because 150,000 more mothers would be able to work. It also proposes extending support for families on Universal Credit, paying childcare cost up to 95% from 85%.
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