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A care-led recovery from coronavirus

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The case for investment in care as a better post-pandemic economic stimulus than investment in construction
De Henau, J. & Himmelweit, S.
Publication Date: 
1 Jun 2020

Excerpted from introduction

The economic crisis of unemployment and inequality consequent upon the Covid-19 pandemic is only just beginning. A recession and consequent job losses are inevitable. This is a bleak picture, but the Covid-19 pandemic has also catalysed a revaluation of our care, health and employment structures, exposing pre-existing problems. This is an important moment for transformative change: for an economic stimulus that focuses on care.

This briefing sets out why much-needed investment in care would promote employment, reduce the gender employment gap and would be a first step in building a resilient, sustainable and more equal economy.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown up structural weaknesses in the UK’s care system - Childcare
Childcare providers are facing an uncertain future. Parents, even those who have secure employment, remain uncertain whether and when it will be safe to put their children back in childcare. The Government currently continues to pay fees for the childcare places it funds. However, these have been heavily cross subsidised by fee-paying parents in the past, and it’s not clear for how long the government will continue to pay for unused places.

It is doubtful that a childcare sector dominated by private providers will survive this uncertainty. When parents eventually return to work and consider it safe to send their children to childcare, how many
childcare places will be there for them?