Professor Jay Belsky, the director of the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues at Birkbeck College in London, said that tax policies should reduce the pressure on parents to leave their youngsters in the care of others.
“Tax policies should support families rearing infants and young children in ways that afford parents the freedom to make child-rearing arrangements that they deem best for their child,” said Professor Belsky.
The system should “reduce the economic coercion that necessitates many, at least in the USA and the UK, to leave the care of their children to others when they would rather not”, he added.
The findings will come as an embarrassment to the Government, which has pumped £21billion into subsidising childcare and toddler education over the past decade.
It has been heavily criticised for pressing mothers back into the workforce by giving out large sums through the tax credit system for them to spend on nurseries.