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Childcare costs remain a challenge

Yesterday, the Department for Education released results of their annual survey of parent’s views on childcare and early years. The survey of more than six thousand parents in England covers a range of issues, including headline figures on the changing cost of childcare.

The BBC and the Daily Mail have included PACEY’s response to the survey in pieces published today.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25962989

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2548902/More-mothers-quit-work-look-children-afford-study-reveals.html

Responding to the survey results, Liz Bayram, PACEY's Chief Executive, said:

“This report provides yet more evidence that overall childcare cost and accessibility remain a significant challenge for many families. Whilst the data on hourly rates indicates a reduction in cost, we know from other research that the overall, real costs of childcare are increasing. Our members are also telling us that many families are choosing to reduce their total childcare hours in response to increased costs.

“So, whilst it is encouraging to see figures show an increase in uptake of formal childcare for children from deprived areas, the report also highlights that many parents still feel that finding accessible childcare in their local area is challenging and that cost remains a significant barrier to many wishing to returning to work or study.

“Taken together, these insights show how crucial it is for government to ensure parents have access to a range of quality, flexible childcare options – be that nursery, childminder or pre school, that best meet the needs of their family. Recent extensions of the free entitlement to disadvantaged 2-year-olds will help but PACEY would like to see Government provide more supply side funding, perhaps through further extension of the free entitlement, so more childcare providers can support more parents to access the childcare they need and more children to benefit from high quality care. Key to this will be ensuring the free entitlement is appropriately funded so that childcare settings can cover the cost of delivery and, as part of this, ensure increased investment in on-going training of the childcare professionals. This would in turn support a longer term ambition that only good or outstanding childcare providers can deliver the free entitlement, something already set as a goal for disadvantaged 2-year-olds.”

The full survey results can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/275992/SFR06-2014_Childcare_and_Early_Years_Survey_of_Parents_2012-13_final.pdf