Many studies of early childhood development show that it is beneficial for children aged birth to three to be cared for in a home-based environment with a lot of one-to-one attention from at least one adult who spends the majority of the day with the child. People who choose to give up the possibility of paid work to provide unpaid care for children under five are therefore not 'out of work' but carrying out important domestic labour that will eventually impact upon the whole of society, producing the next generation who will become doctors, artists, teachers, criminals etc. It is therefore right for society to properly recognise the crucial importance of the home-based carer role.
The law could be changed to allow a working parent to take on the pre-tax earning allowance of a home-based parent, in families with children under 5. It might also be helpful to single parents in particular if a grandparent providing unpaid care for child(ren) under 5 could be designated as the 'partner' for this purpose.