How to make childcare more affordable and flexible






September 2022 - November 2022




Project summary

Research to explore the drivers of rising childcare costs for families, and practical and popular policies to increase affordability and flexibility.


There is a growing acknowledgement that the costs of childcare are too high for many families - particularly in London and the South East and for those with children under the age of two. The OECD estimates the average cost for childcare for the parents of a child under-two is 26% of post-tax income, nearly three times the level in France and well above the developed world average. Most policymakers recognise that the funding system is complex, inefficient, and full of perverse incentives. Take up and satisfaction are low. These problems are likely to get worse as the cost of living crisis deepens, with considerable implications for parents’ ability to work, budget and save as energy and food bills rising hits families harder than other households.

Project overview

The project will involve research into the problems parents face when trying to access and afford childcare. Policy solutions will be tested with key stakeholders and recommendations for reform will be made.