For families with several small children, such as mine, no institutionalised childcare arrangement can be suitable. Having someone live-in has proved a workable solution for us, although I have to spend half of my income on childcare. My husband's income is nearly all spent on the mortgage (we pay pounds 120 more since Labour came to power), which makes it imperative for me to work.
The solution put forward by The Independent has the advantage that it allows people to devise their own childcare strategy whether it means nurseries, neighbourhood childminding or nannies from Australia, rather than rely on Nanny Harman to do it for them.
ALASTAIR MEEKS (letter, 20 February) displays an all-too-common form of shortsightedness. If he plans to draw a pension of any kind, it will be other people's children who support him after his retirement.