Constituents are increasingly contacting me to share their concerns about the difficulty in finding affordable childcare and nursery places for their children.
Staff vacancies in the Early Years sector are on the increase, childcare places are in short supply and a full-time nursery place for a one-year-old costs £14,000 per year. Liz Truss’ proposals to scrap Early Years staff-to-child ratios have prompted further concerns about child safety and staff burnout – attracting criticism from parents, childcare workers and Labour’s shadow Education Ministers.
Now even the Children’s Commissioner has dismissed the Government’s plan as ‘financial tinkering’ that falls short of the ambitious reform the sector needs. I have written to the new Education Secretary, highlighting these concerns. Labour is calling for a modern childcare system which puts children first, boosts economic growth and ensures mothers don’t have to choose between childcare and a career.
On 29th October, Pregnant Then Screwed and senior Labour councillors will be hosting a march through central Bristol, calling for reform of our childcare system, flexible working and parental leave. If you’re frustrated about how difficult it is to be a working parent, please register for March of the Mummies here.