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Innovation in Childcare

This report makes the case for innovation to make childcare more affordable, more accessible and more flexible to parents and families.

This report makes the case for innovation to make childcare more affordable, more accessible and more flexible to parents and families.

Key findings

  • Despite successive governments’ attempts to improve the childcare market in the UK, it is still not working for parents, families and children.
  • Existing and new innovations have the potential to be scaled and address the key pinch points of affordability, accessibility and flexibility in the childcare market.
  • Four areas of innovation that have the greatest potential are co-produced childcare, provider collaboration, new forms of investment and funding and development of informal childcare social networks.

The political debate over childcare in the UK has increased in intensity and in urgency in recent years. This is hardly surprising given the central role that childcare provision plays both in improving life chances for children themselves and in enabling parents to work.

While childcare places have increased dramatically over the last two decades, there remains an acute need to provide affordable, flexible, high-quality childcare for every family that needs it. Gaps in the provision of childcare are most in need in deprived areas and if we are going to meet the demand for childcare provision, we need to look to a range of new models that can address the issue of affordability for parents, low profit margins for providers, gaps in provision and a lack of flexibility in delivery.

This report details a number of innovations, both from the UK and globally, that show potential to address the key issues of flexibility, accessibility and affordability of high quality childcare.

Authors

Jill Rutter, Family and Childcare Trust