We make history, but history is not always made as we would wish. Public childcare provision in Britain is one of the issues that has raised much passion and been the source of much disappointment. Childcare provided by the public sector, which is free of charge to parents, has been limited. Public policy has been slow to change in terms of providing more childcare. Insufficient public childcare provision is an important barrier to the achievement of equal citizenship rights for women, in particular, the right to employment. Against this background, this book sets out to search for the crucial factors that have constrained the development of childcare policy and public childcare provision. It looks particularly at the developments in the 1990s which led to the introduction of the Nursery Education Voucher Scheme. This policy initiative was introduced by a Conservative Government in four pilot local authority areas in April 1996 and nationwide in April 1997. The original discussion which preceded the scheme started with the intention of expanding provision to improve employment opportunities for women. However the subsequent scheme, in only providing part-time pre-school education for four-year-olds, was of little help to women who wanted to take up paid work, but were bound by childcare commitments.