Conservative minister Sam Gyimah will today launch a programme aimed at convincing businesses to put more cash into childcare.
Gyimah, who is a former employee of Goldman Sachs, wants to get so-called social investors around the table with childcare providers – especially those operating in deprived areas.
The government describes social investment as “providing capital for social organisations to provide social and financial benefits. The investment is repayable, often with interest, and is often used to develop new or existing activities that generate income.”
Gyimah says that his background in the City has guided the project. At Goldman, his first deal was working on the merger that created pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline.
“What I’ve brought to this specifically from that background is being able to identify how in this particular context how you can harness capital and investment to really help drive some change in the public sector,” he told City A.M.
“The idea behind the social investment fund is to get social investment money to also help develop the availability of child care in disadvantaged areas,” he added.
As well as helping improve the life chances of young children in poorer areas, Gyimah says the increased funding of subsidised childcare will also help more women be able to go back to work if they want to.
A £500,000 fund from the government will help childcare providers attract more social investment. Gyimah has invited investors and providers to a meeting at Portcullis House today.