May’s government has the potential to transform our economy by investing in childcare. Recent research by the Joseph Rowntree foundation clearly shows that families are struggling to afford childcare, which is directly affecting living standards across the UK.
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.
We are calling on May to invest in affordable childcare to boost our economy and revolutionise family life across the UK.
We are urging the government to adopt our policy of providing free, government-funded childcare for all children from the end of parental leave at 9 months until school age. The first 15 hours a week – where the educational benefits of childcare for children are clearest – should be free, with the rest payable at £1 an hour by parents, as recommended by the Resolution Foundation’s Commission on Living Standards.