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  Childcare 25 January 2005  
Winning Women's Votes
should parents be paid to care for their own children?

As the politicians gear up for the general election, childcare looks set to be one of the main battlegrounds between the parties. 

The government is currently spending around £4.5 billion on childcare and nursery education. £700 million of this is devoted to the childcare tax credit – parents who are eligible for this can get the government to fund 70% of their childcare costs. However, parents can only use this funding to pay for officially approved childcare providers such as nurseries and registered child minders. 

Should parents be entitled to spend the money on buying childcare from grandparents, friends or even paying themselves to look after their own children?

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