One growing economic concern is that many parents are unable to return to work due to their inability to find dependable child care. As the government tries to get more people back on the payrolls, they are looking for solutions to any issue that could potentially keep them out of work.
Social Market Foundation has proposed a new solution. They argue that they should be able to borrow up to £10,000 pounds for childcare. As they earn more money, those wages would be deducted from their weekly paycheck.
This solution would not only make it easier to get parents back to work. Additionally, these loans would be a long-term investment in children’s development. The thinktank argues that this is the only existing solution to both problems. Also, this idea wouldn’t cost the government anything.
The report emphasized that many parents could not afford to pay for childcare. With this system, the payments they would make would be made according to their income. However, they are going to be making payments over long periods of time. For families with smaller incomes, that could mean a couple of decades.
Although these costs could still create a long-term burden for some families, they could potentially spare them the much more devastating burden of being forced into unemployment. According to one poll, about 25% of families living in the highest levels of poverty stated that they quit their jobs because they couldn’t afford the cost of child-care.
These loans would charge an interest rate of 3% above the rate of inflation. This would be more manageable to consumers than many of the other loans they could receive.
The study’s coauthor said that they do not feel this is ideal for families by any means, but argues that it is the best solution available. The government has been forced to make significant budget cuts and will not be able to afford more budget cuts in the coming years. Loans may be the only way many families can possibly find childcare, even if they come with an interest rate premium.
The SMF authors pride themselves on the fact that they have created a potential solution that will help families in a time when the government can’t lend the same helping hand it was able to give them in previous years.