Will extended childcare and childcare vouchers finally solve the return to work dilemma?

Sally Duckworth CEO, You At Work

Labour’s manifesto is out and although it may not have grabbed the headlines, childcare reform is on its way if Labour succeeds in the June election.

While childcare has improved dramatically in recent years, many families still struggle with the availability of affordable childcare. For parents feeling priced out of returning to work, Labour’s pledge to extend the 30 hours of free childcare per week to two to four year olds for many will be seen as a step in the right direction.

With a childcare system already struggling to make ends meet, the proposal will have to be funded appropriately but could drive a shift in return to work patterns for young families.

Extending the period of financial support in a child’s early years is a positive step, and because parents can use childcare vouchers to top up and cover the cost of childcare, we would expect to see parents, especially mothers returning to work sooner.

As more businesses recognise the benefits of flexible working for themselves and their staff, getting your working policies and childcare benefits in place could be a smart move in the coming weeks.

Find out more about childcare vouchers and other employee benefits here