error Not started

Education Education

Assess what more is needed to improve childcare

Last updated: 11:14am 10 January 2019

The next Conservative government will assess what more is needed, including looking at the best ways that childcare is provided elsewhere in Europe and the world.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.72

Our verdict

The manifesto acknowledged the importance of good childcare to both parents and children, and this is one of a number of pledges arising from that.

This policy is essentially a commitment to engage in research and analysis around childcare, and makes specific mention of looking at good examples of childcare provision in different countries.

To assess the status of this promise, we are looking for government-initiated consultations on childcare, as well as government commissions for reports by non-governmental bodies or other agencies, for example.

There is a long-running government-funded study of early education and development (SEED) which includes research and analysis on the quality of early years provision. The most recent update to that study was published in December 2017. The government might argue that this study is being used as the basis for their assessment of what more is needed. But the SEED study was commissioned long before this government came to power (beginning back in 2014), there has been no official response to its most recent findings, and the study does not look at childcare provision in countries other than England.

There was a House of Commons debate on nursery sector sustainability in October 2018, but its focus was mainly on funding issues and there was no mention of “ways that childcare is provided elsewhere in Europe and the world”.

Other than that debate, under this government, we have found no evidence of an assessment of optimal childcare solutions being undertaken. We are therefore marking this policy as ‘not started’. To move it to ‘in progress’ we would expect to see government undertaking consultations and commissioning research into childcare provision. Follow this policy for updates.

Further reading

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we reach our verdicts, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why. Or even better, submit an edit.