Despite major investment since 2004, the UK continues to have some of the most expensive childcare in the world – a couple on double the average wage, with two children in childcare spend 30 per cent of their disposable income on childcare compared to a latest OECD average of just 12 per cent. Growing employment among women has been a critical factor in holding up household living standards over the last 30 years as male income from employment has fallen, but now the prohibitive costs of childcare risk bringing this trend to a halt. In advance of the final report of the government’s Childcare Commission, the Resolution Foundation hosted a major debate on childcare looking at the nature of the challenge, how far current proposals go in addressing this and assessing what more could be done, and at what price. Vidhya Alakeson presented Resolution Foundation analysis of the true costs of childcare and was joined by expert commentators to discuss the seriousness of the issue and the implications for policy. This event was part of the Resolution Foundation’s work on pro-employment public services. We will be publishing further research and hosting a series of debates to explore a range of options for reducing the barriers to work faced by key groups of growing economic importance, particularly parents and older workers.