The Government’s commitment to reversing the rise of child poverty since 1979 and to abolishing it completely in twenty years is one of the most important it has made. It also poses big challenges across a range of policies.
This paper examines the crucial part the National Childcare Strategy must play in meeting this commitment. Since 1997 there has been a significant increase in the level of provision of care and education services for pre-school children as well as after-school and holiday provision for older children. Since 1999 there has been more substantial financial support through the tax credit system to help employed parents on lower incomes pay for childcare. Pre-school education has also expanded and soon free part-time places will be available for all three and four year olds whose parents wish to use them.
The paper describes the extent of child poverty in Britain today and sets the dramatic increase since 1979 in the context of rising unemployment levels, widening inequalities among wage earners and the increase in workless households as well as demographic changes. These changes in Britain are compared with those which have occurred within the EU over the same period.
This publication is only available to purchase as a pdf.
Published: February 2002
ISBN: 1 871088 61 5
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Making More Great and Affordable Childcare a Reality