Care is an activity that once relied almost entirely on time and on the quality of human relationships but now leans heavily on a chronically low-paid and under-valued workforce increasingly run by just a few big firms seeking to maximise profit.

But in childcare, a new approach used in Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Italy, developed by the New Economics Foundation, turns us from passive recipients of services into active participants by combining the skill of professional workers with the lived experience of families.

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stephanski

Parent-led co-operative models of childcare like Childspace in Brockwell or Grasshoppers in the Park in Hackney combine decent pay and conditions for staff with real control and affordability for parents who contribute time and skills to the management of the nursery.

We’re now working to build a network to help parents in low income areas navigate the legal, financial and regulatory landscape so they are not learning from scratch every time.