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Mothers' employment and childcare in Britain


Improved availability and affordability of childcare and greater opportunities for mothers to undertake paid employment have become major objectives for government policy over the past five years. Yet the development of effective strategies to achieve these aims requires a clear understanding of the factors influencing mothers? Work decisions and the role of different types of childcare in enabling mothers to undertake formal paid employment.

This book presents a comprehensive picture of the current work and childcare choices of mothers in Britain, using a quantitative analysis of the most recently available survey data. Among the questions addressed are:

  • Are mothers constrained in their ability to work?
  • How and at what cost is childcare provided for children of working mothers?
  • How do the availability and quality of childcare vary across different regions of the country?
  • What impact does the price of childcare have on childcare use and the employment of mothers? How much does it influence the quality of care?
  • What effect would the working families' tax credit and its generous credit for childcare expenses have on childcare use?