Pressure will increase on the Government for more rights for working parents following the news that former social security secretary Harriet Harman is to chair a one-year childcare commission.
The commission is the idea of leading childcare charity Kids Club Network and will explore the preferences of parents, children and employers.
Harman has campaigned for subsidies for the currently unpaid 13 weeks' parental leave. She has also argued that the Government should widen the entitlement to leave to parents of under-five children born before 15 December 1999.
The commission will give her the opportunity to develop new policies on how to combine work and parenting.
Kids Club Network director Anne Longfield said the commission is the UK's first strategic think tank on childcare.
The commission will draw together 10 to 15 leading industrialists, politicians and specialists to examine future needs and propose developments.