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Labour Party childcare breakfast

This morning, PACEY's Head of Policy and Communications attended a breakfast round table discussion on childcare chaired by Polly Toynbee, Guardian columnist. The event was organised as a fringe event at the Labour Party conference in Brighton.

Speakers included:

  • Patrick Diamond, Senior Research Fellow, Policy Network
  • Lucy Powell MP, Progress
  • Julian Foster, Managing Director, Computer Share Voucher Services
  • Anne Longfield, Chief Executive, 4Children

The discussion was around the difficulty many families find in balancing work and childcare. Suggestions from the panel included:

  • A need to have a childcare system that supports the changing nature of employment with increasing proportion of working patterns outside the traditional hours. They noted that the UK has lower full time working participation rate for women with school age children.
  • A need to look at a universal childcare offer in the future but to work together now to provide a blended model for parents to access.
  • The next government should consider a supply-side solution rather than yet another piecemeal demand-side offer. But this would need an enlightened Treasury to understand the investment required to go from one system to the other.

The panel agreed that quality and affordability are essential to  the success of any policy intervention.

What are your thoughts on the discussion? Have your say at PACEY Local.