IEA - More cash won’t fix our broken childcare sector, says Professor Len Shackleton
IEA Editorial and Research Fellow Professor Len Shackleton responded to the TUC’s call for an “urgent bailout” of the childcare sector
“Government involvement in childcare is an expensive melange of ill-thought-out, virtue-signalling policies.
“Subsidies cost the taxpayer at least £6bn per year, yet parents pay on average three times more than those in France or Germany.
“We currently get the worst of all worlds. Government restricts supply with regulation and formalisation, squeezing childminders out of the market, while boosting demand at the same time.
“For instance, we have the highest teacher:child ratios in Europe, yet there is limited evidence to suggest they impact educational outcomes.
“Childcare subsidies have a significant displacement effect on private sector activity. In the year after the subsidy was introduced, nursery closures soared by 153 per cent. Evidence suggests that the state pays below market rate, so more subsidies will either put nurseries under further pressure, ultimately leading to closures, or require yet more funding as more expensive public sector suppliers have to expand to take up the slack.
“There is only limited evidence that subsidies increase female labour force participation – and any increases come at a high budgetary cost. There is little to suggest that disadvantaged children’s future educational progress is significantly enhanced. There is a lot of what economists call ‘deadweight’ involved with ‘free’ provision – subsidies going to better-off people who would have paid for childcare themselves anyway.
“We should deregulate and reassess childcare objectives. More cash – as proposed by the TUC – isn’t the solution to fixing a damaged sector.”
Notes to editors
For media enquiries, please contact Annabel Denham, Director of Communications, 07540770774
Professor Len Shackleton, IEA Editorial and Research Fellow, is available for further comment.
For more on childcare:
- Getting the State out of Pre-school and Childcare
- Childcare: the government is trying to achieve too many things – and ends up achieving none
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.
Latest News from
Civitas - Study finds over 80% CofE dioceses appoint clergy who advocate racial justice activist claims & over 70% promoting climate activism – marking Church’s ‘separation of the head from the body’10/06/2021 11:35:00
In a new report, researchers have set out to investigate the scale of support for ultra-progressive radical activist agendas alleging ‘systemic racism’ in English society, the understanding and use of ‘unconscious biases’ and prescribing a ‘climate emergency’ doctrine within the Church of England.
‘Special relationship’ can thrive if UK forges new green trade agenda with US at G7 summit – IPPR report10/06/2021 10:35:00
Ahead of the G7 leaders’ summit in Cornwall, the IPPR think tank is urging the UK to spearhead efforts to rewrite the rules of global trade.
IEA - “Social distancing rules must go on 21st June”: IEA expert responds to ONS data on UK pubs and bars sector10/06/2021 09:35:00
Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, responded to figures from the Office for National Statistics showing that 55 per cent of pub staff are still furloughed and only 24 per cent of pub owners have “high confidence” that their business will survive the next three months
‘Bitter irony’ that health and care staff are made ill by their work: The King’s Fund response to the Commons Committee report on workforce burnout and resilience08/06/2021 11:35:00
Suzie Bailey, Director of Leadership and Organisational Development at The King’s Fund, responded to the Health and Social Care Committee report on workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care
Adam Smith Inst - Aussies & Brits tell Govts: Get trade deal done08/06/2021 10:35:00
A new poll from the free market think tank the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) and research and strategy firm at C|T Group RSR has found Brits and Australians want to expand trade and secure a comprehensive deal.
G7 Tax Agreement: IPPR says countries can still go further to end ‘race to the bottom’ on tax08/06/2021 09:35:00
IPPR - New developments must prioritise environmental and community needs, say locals on Thurrock climate jury04/06/2021 15:10:00
Local people should have more meaningful ways to shape planning and development decisions to ensure environmental and community needs are met, according to 20 Thurrock residents participating in an innovative climate citizens’ jury.
IFS - Socioeconomic inequalities in mortality were growing for adults pre-pandemic, but falling for young children04/06/2021 14:10:00
Inequalities in mortality rates by socioeconomic position had been rising in England prior to the pandemic, both for men and women.
IEA - Advertising regulation a “threat” we cannot ignore, says new research02/06/2021 14:15:00
New research from the Institute of Economic Affairs warns we have sleepwalked into wide-ranging restrictions on advertising – and that it may not be long before there is pressure to ban certain types of expression and imagery in the arts, entertainment and politics.