Our childcare policy would cut bills to under £100 a month
Today brought more proof that the cost of childcare in the UK is hurting families, as research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation showed families’ standards of living are dropping because they are finding it harder to make ends meet – especially if they depend on low wages or benefits.
“Our party is ready to tackle this, with clear plans for the introduction of universal free childcare from the end of parental leave at nine months. The first 15 hours a week – where the educational benefits of childcare for children are clearest – will be free, with the rest payable at £1 an hour by parents, which would lower childcare bills to under £100 a month. This would radically improve the standard of living for millions of families across the UK,” said Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party
The research found full time working parents on the National Living Wage and Universal Credit were 18 percent below the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) of household services and products needed to achieve an acceptable standard of living, compared to four per cent for full time working couples.
“This new research shows clearly that parents are struggling to afford childcare, and that more would like to access nursery facilities instead of cheaper childminder options, as they know this increases their children’s life chances,” said Women’s Equality Party leader Sophie Walker.
The current Government has committed to expanding free childcare from 2017 for three- and four-year-olds. “But this still leaves a long gap where there is no state provision for younger children, and this is forcing many women out of work and into poverty,” said Walker. “Affordable childcare would change this, as well as create a huge economic boost for the benefit of all. We urge all those struggling with their current childcare arrangements to get behind our party, and join our call for a new approach to better balancing family life.”
Published July 21, 2016