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Where next for childcare? Learning from the 2004 childcare strategy and ten years of policy

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Butler, Adam, Lugton, Duncun & Rutter, Jill
Publication Date: 
4 Jun 2014



This repot assesses the changes and developments in the past ten years since the landmark 2004 childcare strategy introduced under the Labour Government, which the report says was the first time there had been a unifying framework for childcare policy. 

To evaluate this long term government strategy the report traced each chain of policy action initiated by the strategy to consider what measurable outcomes were achieved. The authors also made a more subjective assessment of progress against the four broad aims on the 2004 childcare strategy, which are set out below.

1. Choice and flexibility 
Strategy goal: Parents to have greater choice about balancing work and family life

2. Availability 
Strategy goal: For all families with children aged up to 14 who need it, an affordable, flexible, high quality childcare place that meets their circumstances.

3. Quality 
Strategy goal: High quality provision with a highly skilled childcare and early years workforce, among the best in the world.

4. Affordability 
Strategy goal: Families to be able to afford flexible, high quality childcare that is appropriate for their needs.

For each of the aims set out in the 2004 childcare strategy the report presents the initial goal, summarizes key policy actions since 2004, and provides specific recomendations for next steps. 

Entered Date: 
4 Jun 2014
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