The quality, not quantity, of childcare needs improving

30 June 2015 16:43

The Chancellor has found himself a treasure chest: childcare. In his quest for full employment, it’s seen as crucial for…

Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps arrives to meet Conservative party activists as he helps with their canvassing in a residential area of Street on April 2, 2015 in Somerset, England.

Campaign kick-off: 15 days to go

22 April 2015 9:05

The general election campaign is beginning to feel a little staid. Maybe there was too much excitement over the attacks…

Members of the Shadow Cabinet (L) listen as Ed Miliband (R), the leader of the Labour Party, launches his party's general election manifesto in the Old Granada Studios in Manchester, Northern England on April 13, 2015.

Ten things you need to know about Labour’s manifesto

13 April 2015 15:45

Labour has launched its election manifesto in Manchester today, entitled ‘Britain can be better’. The document (pdf here) includes some…

(Photo: Carl Court/Getty)

Will Nick Clegg’s PMQs session highlight the tensions in the Coalition?

8 December 2014 12:38

After being too busy talking to ‘normal people’ in Cornwall last Wednesday and missing previous PMQs presumably to do the…

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Delivers His Keynote Speech At The Liberal Democrat Party Conference

Nick Clegg’s cojones

24 April 2014 13:13

Mr and Mrs Clegg attended the launch yesterday evening of Cityfathers, a group designed for fathers working in the Square…

Alistair Darling Poses Before Leaving To Give His First Budget Speech

George Osborne’s last chance: 40p…or childcare?

14 March 2014 17:27

Next week’s Budget is the last chance for George Osborne to make a ‘game-changing reform’. Backbench Tories have been clamouring…

Image: Getty

The coalition has stabilised childcare costs – so why do headlines suggest they’re rising?

4 March 2014 16:10

You may have heard about the Family and Childcare Trust’s survey today, about the costs of childcare. You wouldn’t know…

Statistics Suggest Poverty Is A Major Issue For Scottish Children

The SNP school Labour in politics. Again.

8 January 2014 12:20

Alex Salmond might not wish to be compared to Gordon Brown but there is one sense in which the two…

All the policy options on childcare point to getting someone else to mind your children. But what about policies that encourage parents to look after their own children?

Here’s a thought about child care: what about giving parents some choice?

19 November 2013 17:05

George Bernard Shaw made no bones about the merits of schooling: it was, he felt, a way for parents to…


Ed Balls’ new plans would leave taxpayers with world’s highest childcare bill

23 September 2013 20:39

Up until about 2004, the Labour government’s strategy of fighting poverty by concentrating on three priorities – government spending, government…

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband’s seaside start

22 September 2013 10:47

Ed Miliband’s interview on the Andrew Marr show neatly summed up the Labour leader’s problems in cutting through. Marr started…

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne Visits A Nursery

Yes, stay-at-home mothers have made a “lifestyle choice”

6 August 2013 13:06

Blimey, George Osborne has got something right! Astonishing scenes. Suppose the government thought it a good idea for us to…

The politics of childcare has become too emotional. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Childcare for all: a necessity not a luxury

7 June 2013 10:36

How many small children do you think you could look after? Three? Four? Maybe not even one without someone else…


Childcare row becomes more about Coalition and less about the policy itself

6 June 2013 9:00

It is not an enormous surprise that Nick Clegg has confirmed that he will block the government’s plans to relax…

The row continues about who said what on childcare reform. Picture: Getty

Childish childcare bickering continues

13 May 2013 12:24

Last winter, the surest way to get a Lib Dem to ring you back was to mention the words ‘boundary…

Assuming a good childcare offer will bring female voters flooding back to your party is as simplistic as assuming they'll be bought off with free shoes. Picture: Getty

Please, stop trying to solve the Women’s Vote problem by banging on about childcare

10 May 2013 16:23

Flicking through my diary this morning, I came across something I’d scrawled as ‘All the Tory ladies’ without further explanation.…

Liz Truss

The Tories failed to make the case for relaxing childcare ratios: no wonder the policy bombed

9 May 2013 15:29

Two ministers appeared in the Commons today to explain two different reforms. One is at the very start of its…

Conservatives Consider Family Tax Reform

An Antediluvian Tory Press Causes Problems for David Cameron

20 March 2013 10:52

Today’s papers make dreadful reading for anyone with an interest in modern, reformed conservatism. They are a reminder – if…

Liz Truss

Liz Truss: the minister fighting the ‘Where have all the women gone?’ debates

19 March 2013 9:44

The government’s childcare announcement, fronted by the formidable Liz Truss, is another attempt to appeal to working mothers and to…


Coalition negotiations on childcare tax break near conclusion

10 March 2013 12:06

Jo Swinson’s speech to the Lib Dem spring conference highlighted her again as a confident performer who has higher to…

Liz Truss

Truss’ truncated childcare announcement highlights mid-term review weaknesses

29 January 2013 9:44

Controversial though her proposals to relax quotas for childminders and nursery staff may be, no-one disagrees with Liz Truss’ central…

The government's childcare commission is due to report this autumn. Picture: Getty

Cameron readies childcare package

6 January 2013 13:57

David Cameron and Nick Clegg will launch the coalition’s mid-term review tomorrow. There will be some announcements in it. But…

Cameron and Clegg and the rest of the Quad discussed options for the mid-term review

What will the coalition do next?

11 November 2012 17:53

We are now closer to the 2015 election than the 2010 one. We also expected by now to have the…

The government's childcare commission is due to report this autumn. Picture: Getty

The childcare battleground

28 October 2012 14:32

The coalition wants to remove blockages to people returning to work, and one of the most complex problems is the…

Childcare costs could be election battleground

19 July 2012 16:10

Parents of children under two now pay on average over £5000 a year on childcare, with costs increasing much faster…