25 Feb, 2015


IPPR | Reforming Childcare to support mothers into work | February 2014

Authors | Spencer Thompson is an economic analyst at IPPR.
Dalia Ben-Galim is associate director for families and work at IPPR. 

Maternal employment rates are important. Families where parents work experience a significantly lower risk of child poverty. Mothers who are able to work, or return to work, reduce their ‘motherhood pay penalty’, the fall in earnings that is linked to the length of the break in economic activity following childbirth. In addition, maternal employment has been positively linked to child development, and to parents’ health and wellbeing. 

Beyond the benefit to individual families, higher levels of maternal employment also produce a significant return to the Treasury. Indeed, the reduction in benefit spending and rise in tax revenues that maternal employment produces could be reinvested as part of a package to invest in better quality childcare.