The Childcare puzzle: improving quality AND affordability?

Childcare provision in the UK is of lower quality than in many other countries and more expensive for families. However, there is considerable variation within the UK in both quality and cost, and the three-way relationship between quality, cost and family background is neither straightforward nor well understood.

This project will examine existing UK data to enhance what we know about the quality and cost of care received by children from different social backgrounds. Researchers will then look beyond the UK, examining the mechanisms through which four or five other countries deliver high quality care, focusing in particular on how they ensure that good quality care is accessible to children from lower-income families. It will aim to come up with policy options for the UK which go beyond simply “spend more”, and to model the potential cost implications of these policy alternatives.