Soaring childcare costs are limiting parents’ ability to work in South East, as Labour demands Sunak secure families’ finances
Labour is today warning the cost of childcare is so high that parents are having to cut down the hours they work across the South East. New Labour analysis shows the average family now spends nearly £824 more on a nursery place than five years ago.
39% of parents responding to a recent survey by ‘Pregnant then Screwed’ said that they have to work fewer hours due to childcare costs, which rises to more than half of parents in households with incomes of below £50,000.
For primary school children, the cost of after school clubs has also risen 8% over five years, with average parents now spending more on after school clubs than on their weekly food shop.
A decade of Conservative governments has forced the closure of 1,300 children’s centres cutting off support for families, while the government has admitted to knowingly underfunding childcare providers which is pushing up costs for parents.
Labour’s Children’s Recovery Plan would mean children could go to breakfast clubs and after school activities for free, boosting children’s social development and wellbeing post-pandemic, and support working parents.
The Chancellor’s spring statement failed to give families the security they need as prices spiral and the Conservatives’ cost of living crisis is hitting household budgets.
Cllr Clive Johnson, Medway Labour and Co-operative Group Shadow Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said:
“The cost of living crisis is hammering families in Medway, yet the Conservatives aren’t just nowhere to be seen – they are actually making things worse.
“Childcare costs are so out of control many parents simply cannot afford to work, energy prices are pushing families to the wall, and yet still this Conservative Chancellor is raising taxes to a 70 year high.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. Labour has a plan to tackle the cost of living crisis – Labour is on your side.”
Bridget Phillipson MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:
“The Conservatives are making high-quality childcare increasingly unavailable and unaffordable. Parents are having to work fewer hours or leave jobs because they cannot find or afford it, once again failing children and families.
“Labour’s Children’s Recovery Plan would invest in early years places for children on free school meals and boost access to before and after school clubs, as families fight rising prices.
“The Chancellor has failed to give families security. Labour would halt the national insurance rise and use a one off windfall tax on oil and gas companies to cut household’s bills by up to £600 and put families first.”