Catherine West MP
Catherine West MP

According to a recent survey by Mumsnet and Pregnant Then Screwed (March 2022), 62% of parents say that the cost of childcare is the same or more than their rent/mortgage. Amidst a cost-of-living crisis, prices for nurseries and preschools continue to soar and this is disproportionally impacting working mothers. In fact, 43% of mothers say the cost of childcare has made them consider leaving their job and 7% have quit altogether.

This is truly disgraceful. After 12 years of austerity, parents and childcare providers are calling out for help. Instead of properly investing in this sector, the Government wants to reduce staff-child ratio in nurseries – a gimmicky and dangerous idea that won’t  make any difference to parents who are struggling to find affordable childcare.

I attended the Opposition Day Debate on “Children’s recovery and the cost of childcare” and spoke about the difficult choices that parents are having to make due to rising costs. You can read my four contributions here and my speech below.

The Government needs to wake up and do better. Affordable childcare will enable women to go back to work and know that their children are receiving excellent care in nurseries and preschools. And better yet, a subsidised childcare sector will pay its staff a proper living wage.

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