A report from Centre Forum suggests that Britain should change its regime on child care, and allow more people to become childminders.
Over the last twenty years, childcare provision in the UK has been transformed. In 1990, most places were provided by childminders - out of a total of just over 300,000.
By 2010 the number of places had tripled - and the vast majority were in nurseries. The number of places offered by childminders remained steady.
The increase in provision was largely down to the policies of the Labour government. They wanted parents to have choice in childcare, so they offered a series of subsidies to families: free nursery places to three and four year olds, childcare tax credits to parents, and childcare vouchers from employers.
In the first of two reports, Sanchia Berg reports on how the system in Britain has developed.
Harriet Harman, who was the architect of New Labour's child care policy which transformed the sector, told Sanchia Berg that "choice was the essence of it. Accessible, affordable, quality... that's what we wanted."
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