4. Shouldn’t we be incentivizing parents to stay at home with their kids rather than paying for child care?
Such a payment helps in those cases where that is desired by the parents. The parents are free to make that choice as they should be, it is not for some external agency to impose any form of parenting on people as required. This unfortunately has been the mindset of tighter and tighter targeting of social benefits that we are rolling back – because of the unnecessary stress it puts on recipients.
Up until the age of 3 the evidence on childcare is mixed, but after the age of 3 childcare has clear benefits, particularly for children from struggling families. That is why we are funding high quality full time childcare from that date.