From the Guardian:
Mothers should be paid to stay at home if they want to when their children are young, according to a report to be launched by the Conservatives' shadow minister for the family tomorrow.
State help for families has been channelled under Labour into tax credits to pay for nurseries and childminders but what most mothers want is to work part-time or not at all, particularly when their children are under five, the controversial review by two leading academics for the think-tank Policy Exchange argues.
It argues mothers should be paid an allowance to spend either on formal childcare such as nurseries, informal care like grandparents helping out, or on subsidising a parent to stay at home. It argues the current free nursery places for three- and four-year-olds could be scrapped to fund the new allowance.
Worries about their children's welfare are a bigger deterrent to women working than childcare costs, the report concludes, suggesting that making childcare cheaper will not solve their dilemma.