Printline: Mum's the word

UK's new childcare policy benefits only those who fit the government's preferred model

Nick Clegg recently announced that he would block Tory plans to enable nursery staff and childminders to look after more toddlers in order to cut childcare costs... The other central plank of the government's childcare policy... (is) its decision to offer generous subsidies for nursery spaces — but only to the children of families where both parents are in work. Speaking at the tail-end of his trip to America, Cameron was in emollient mood, claiming: "I support the choices that mums make and if they want to work we should support that and if they want to stay at home we should support that. The idea is not to dictate to people what they should do, but to support the choices they make. There are lots of things we do do that help stay-at-home mums. The support we're giving for nursery education, for instance, is a good example of that." These are pleasant words — but they ignore the reality of the government's policies, which have seen child benefit stripped from middle-class couples and redistributed to those who fit ministers' desired model, in which both parents work, thereby penalising stay-at-home parents.

From a leader in the 'The Telegraph', London

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