Labour promise free clubs for all to combat ‘crippling’ childcare cost


breakfast and after school should be provided for all children to combat the “crippling” cost of childcare, Labor said.

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson outlined plans to help parents with rising daycare rates.

The average cost of childcare across the UK has risen to £ 274 per week per child which for many women exceeds their salary.

In London, the cost is even higher, with working parents paying around £ 1,700 a month to place a two-year-old in kindergarten.

Ms Phillipson said the current childcare system was “broken” and promised a plan for extra investment for early years’ development.

During a visit to the Thomas Coram Center in Camden on Thursday, she told the Standard: “Labor has a child recovery plan coming out of the pandemic that will provide extra investment in our early years, but also breakfast clubs and after-school activities for all children as well. , because we know the impact of the pandemic on all children’s learning and development was really serious.

“We are looking very closely at the kind of system we should have because we know at the moment the current system is broken, very complicated and difficult for parents to access and parents are facing crippling costs around childcare.”

Currently, all three- to four-year-olds are eligible for 15 hours a week of free childcare.

Some people are eligible for 30 hours of free childcare, depending on their job, income and circumstances.

Many parents at the Thomas Coram Center who would not normally be eligible are offered the full 30 hours, funded by the Camden Council’s enhanced supply initiative supported by the Sutton Trust.

Steph Griffin-Wright, 27, and her son William, 4, benefit from the scheme.

She said: “William started going to the Thomas Coram Center 15 hours a week when he was two years old through a government scheme. When William was about to turn three, I had the opportunity to apply [the] improved supply ‘.

“The extra toddler hours meant I was able to accept and I work in an admin role at a youth charity with the study for my business admin level 3.

“Having that time in kindergarten means he will be ready for the challenge of school and since we are already in a routine, it will not be a shock to him.”

Bridget Phillipson with Camden Council’s Marcus Boyland and Perina Holness

/ Evening Standard

Ms Phillipson added: “It was incredibly powerful to hear from parents about the impact that accessible childcare has had on their lives and also on their children, allowing mothers in particular to tackle jobs and opportunities.”

The government has proposed amending the law to increase the number of toddlers legally allowed caregivers at one time, hoping that savings on staff costs will be passed on to parents.

But only 59 percent of local authorities report that there is enough child care available for full-time parents, down from 68 percent last year, according to Coram Family and Childcare’s annual survey.

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