Clegg gets ready to help parents
He is looking at giving parents the right to more flexible working arrangements, making it "as interchangeable" as possible so couples could decide what they wanted to do.
Mr Clegg's comments came as he launched the new Childhood and Families Ministerial Task Force, chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Its aim will be to identify specific policy proposals which could improve life for children and families in a cost-effective way.
Grandparents are to get stronger rights to "step in" and help children when parents break up.
The Deputy Prime Minister, MP for Sheffield Hallam, said it was "crazy" that the wider family did not feel they could intervene during damaging break-ups.
Announcing the initiative in a speech at an event organised by Barnardo's in central London yesterday, Mr Clegg said: "This Government believes that we strengthen our society by giving people the power to make choices over their lives.
"We believe in the informal networks between people that provide families with support, as well as the strong sense of community identity that helps make children feel secure. So it should come as no surprise that this agenda is being driven from the heart of government.
"This group will identify specific policy proposals that will make the biggest difference to children and families, tackling a hardcore of everyday bottlenecks that frustrate family life to give parents the freedom they need in the first place."
The task force is due to report its conclusions at around the end of the year.
Alongside Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg, its members will include Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, Children's Minister Sarah Teather, Science and Universities Minister David Willetts, Public Health Minister Anne Milton and economic secretary to the Treasury Justine Greening.
A widely discussed Unicef report in 2007 named Britain as the worst place in the industrialised world for a child to grow up because of problems such as poverty, limited time with parents and exposure to activities like smoking, drinking and underage sex.
Rob Williams, chief executive of the Fatherhood Institute, said the Government should improve paternity leave arrangements, help fathers to take up flexible working and reorient services to actively include fathers.
"Families do better when bread-winning and caring are divided more equally between parents," said Mr Williams.
"Where fathers are involved in childcare as well as bread-winning, children tend to do better at school and are less likely to get into trouble in their teenage years.
"There are good reasons for Government to take a strong interest in shared parenting.
"Government can't force parents to share their parenting. But it can remove barriers to parents who want to choose how to manage their parenting."
Shadow children's secretary Ed Balls, MP for Morley and Outwood, attacked the proposals, saying: "This Government can have no credibility on improving the life chances of children and families when they are cutting child trust funds, youth jobs, university places, free school meals for poorer families, and successful programmes to tackle teenage pregnancy and youth crime.
"And this is before proposals to cut child benefit and school breakfast clubs. The fact they've abolished the post of Secretary of State for Children tells you everything about the priorities of this new Government.
"A serious approach to improving the life chances of children and families in our country would be to continue with the successful reforms in Labour's Children's Plan which had widespread support but have now been torn up.
"This announcement is simply a smokescreen to divert attention from the Tory-Liberal Government's unfair and short-sighted cuts to the very local services which make a difference to the lives of children and young people."