The closures of childcare providers to most families during the COVID-19 crisis have underlined the importance of access to childcare, both to support paid work and to help shape young children’s environment. However, the crisis has had severe consequences for the finances of childcare providers, which were already weak in several parts of the sector going into the crisis.
Despite a range of government support programmes, many providers lost income during lockdown. In the medium term, a longer-lasting fall in demand for childcare or an increase in costs related to social distancing could seriously hamper financial sustainability in the sector going forward.
This week, we speak with Christine Farquharson, Senior Research Economist at IFS and Claire Crawford, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Birmingham and IFS Research Fellow.