O n hearing that Jeremy Hunt plans to extend the offer of 30 free childcare hours to children under three, many parents will have breathed a collective sigh of relief.
The prominence of childcare in his budget is evidence of how far opinion has shifted. Though a vital part of the economy, childcare has long been treated as a domestic issue.
Parents have been expected to conjure up an additional salary for the luxury of being able to go to work. Provision is patchy, complicated and ruinously expensive.Mr Hunt’s recognition of these facts was a welcome change in tone.
But his offer, which would only come into full effect after the next election, treats childcare as a means to a single end: getting parents into work.Read more on theguardian.com