Campaign for Learning releases Expanding Childcare - time for children, parents and family learning

Today, Campaign for Learning releases Expanding Childcare: time for children, parents and family learning.

The paper considers in particular the advantages and disadvantages of the new childcare entitlements announced by the Government. It includes analysis and recommendations from 21 experts including labour market economists, children development and parental engagement experts, organisations representing working families, childcare groups and family learning specialists. 

Julia Wright, national director, Campaign for Learning, said: 

“We are grateful to the authors for their insights, analysis and recommendations on the issues and opportunities for childcare in England.

"Some authors in the paper explicitly state that a work-focused childcare strategy, as announced by the Government, is too narrow in terms of coverage for both parents and children. 

"Whilst the Labour party’s very recent announcement for an expanded system of childcare entitlements focused on low-income families is not examined by the experts in the paper, a number of contributors in the paper indicate that a more comprehensive system of childcare is required, so more children have access to childcare during those first crucial 1,001 days of their lives. 

“Taken together these contributions show that childcare is about more than getting parents into work. It is about enabling parents to engage directly in the development of their child, providing time to develop themselves through adult learning and participating in skills training to get better jobs, if and when they return to the labour market.” 

Contributors also highlight the need to professionalise the childcare workforce, starting with better pay, and set out why a childcare workforce development strategy is urgently needed. 

The paper concludes with recommendations from Campaign for Learning. 

Authors in Expanding Childcare: time for children, children and family learning 

Will Snell, Chief Executive, The Fairness Foundation 
Anneka Dawson, Head of Pre-16 Education, Ceri Williams, Senior Research Fellow, and Alexandra Nancarrow, Research Fellow, Institute for Employment Studies 
Paul Bivand, Independent Policy Analyst 
James Cockett, Labour Market Economist and Claire McCartney, Policy Adviser, Resourcing and Inclusion, CIPD 
Jane van Zyl, Chief Executive, Working Families 
Janeen Hayat, Director of Collective Action, Fair Education Alliance 
Megan Jarvie, Head of Coram Family and Childcare 
Professor Elizabeth Rapa and Professor Louise Dalton, University of Oxford 
Lee Elliot Major, Professor of Social Mobility, University of Exeter  
Bea Stevenson, Head of Education, Family Links the Centre for Emotional Health 
Simon Ashworth, Policy Director, AELP 
Sharon Cousins, Vice Principal, Newham College and National Association for Managers of Student Services Executive 
Susan Pember, Policy Director, HOLEX 
Sam Freedman, Senior Fellow, Institute for Government 
Susan Doherty, Development Officer – Family Learning, Education Scotland 
Susannah Chambers, Independent Consultant 
Henriett Toth, Parent 

Download the full paper