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PACEY reponds to Labour Childcare Pledge

The Labour Party have outlined their plans to tackle rising childcare costs should they win the next general election. You can read reports about the announcement through via the links below

Labour leader warns that parents face a ‘childcare crunch’

Labour leader reveals huge drop in number of childcare places


Responding to the announcement, Liz Bayram, Chief Executive of PACEY, said:

‘High quality childcare is essential to give all children the best start in life, especially children living in disadvantaged areas. Despite progress in delivering a free entitlement to the most disadvantaged families, more needs to be done. We welcome proposals on how to further the availability of childcare.

‘However, when promising to extend the free entitlement, or wraparound care in schools, policy-makers need to be clear on how they will implement their proposals. There’s no point in promising additional entitlement without ensuring it can be delivered with the flexibility that  families need, and at funded at a level that covers the setting's cost of delivering the care.

‘For instance, we know that under the current framework for two-year-old’s free entitlement, the system is preventing some good or outstanding childminders from being allowed to deliver the free entitlement – even when local councils are struggling to find enough childcare professionals in their area. A lack of consistent application of guidance across the country is preventing many children from accessing the high quality experience they deserve and limiting choice for parents. Further, current government proposals around implementation of childminder agencies look likely to threaten the sustainability of the childminding profession which is delivering care in the flexible manner that most families need.  Despite the wealth of evidence indicating that agencies will not cut childcare costs for families, and are unlikely to drive up quality, the Coalition continues to push forward with these proposals

‘No matter the result of the next election, effective planning and consultation with childcare professionals will be needed to make  best use of any extension of the free entitlement. The sector is able to increase capacity, but needs to work with government to ensure this capacity is built on strong workforce development plans, ensuring that the childcare professionals delivering the free entitlement are well qualified and supported to deliver high quality care. We know that it is high quality that delivers the best outcomes for children.’