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Article
The role of 'informal childcare': a synthesis and critical review of the evidence
Date started: 09 September 2009

This study will combine a literature review with secondary analysis to draw together good quality evidence about 'informal childcare' and to highlight the gaps in that evidence. It will focus on: the reasons why different families use various configurations of 'informal childcare' and the effect, if any, of recent government policies; the evidence to support the promotion or discouragement of 'informal childcare' because of outcomes for children and their families; and whether there is a role for state intervention in the 'informal childcare' market.

The project is run by Caroline Bryson and Mike Brewer, with input from Ivana La Valle, Sarah Butt and Cathy Coshall from the National Centre for Social Research. It is funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

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30 September 2009
Observations
Article
Gordon Brown's speech to the Labour party conference confirmed that, if it wins the general election, the Government will provide free early education and childcare places for 2 year old children in low-income families in England by 2015, to be funded by scrapping the tax break on employer-provided childcare vouchers. Who will win and lose from this change, and what does it tell us about the Government's priorities?

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