Children's BI before school

In the months after birth, the child's BI could be used by the parent/carer towards the cost of childcare (for instance if both parents return to work), or for supplementary income and support (for those who decide to quit work to bring up the child), or to pay employers to keep a job open (for those wanting temporary leave for the first few months).

Rather than long maternity/paternity leave, the statutory leave period should be significantly reduced (to make people and particularly women of child-rearing age more employable by SMEs), but an obligation placed on all employers to keep the job open for upto a year, for a statutorily-defined cost per week, set at a level that can be covered by this part of the child's BI.

The employer gets financial help for the temp cover that is required for as long as the job is being kept open. The new parents have an incentive to be realistic about whether they really intend to return to the job, and to let it go (so they can put the child's BI towards their costs of living) as soon as they decide that they may want to stay home to bring up the child for longer than a few months (or to change job). The employer would then be freed to find a replacement sooner (reducing disruption and cost), and a new employee would be helped into a job rather than holding it open pointlessly for months.

After the first year, until the children go to school, the part of the child's BI that is earmarked for education costs is either a supplementary income for stay-at-home parents, or help with the costs of childcare for working parents.