Government urged to meet parents` childcare needs

The government should assess current childcare services to
ensure the needs of parents are met, according to a Daycare Trust

Seven recommendations are made in ‘The Price Parents
Pay’ in a bid to ensure all children can access good quality

These include widening financial help for working parents by
increasing take up of childcare tax credit, simplifying the process
to the 55 funding streams, and clarifying the tax environment for
employers to encourage more help with childcare for employees.

The report, which is the third in the series of ‘Thinking
Big – Childcare for All’ briefing papers, urges the
joining up of different funding streams, investing in subsidised
childcare and ensuring the new integrated child credit tackles the
limitations of the working families tax credit in supporting
working parents who need childcare.

Stephen Burke, director of the Daycare Trust, said: “British
parents face the highest childcare bills in Europe. That means many
families simply can’t afford to use quality childcare.”

“Children are missing out on early learning and parents are
trapped in a low pay/no pay cycle. With a quarter of children
growing up in workless families, childcare is key to tackling child
poverty and helping parents to work, learn and boost family
income,” he added.

The typical cost of a full time nursery place is more than
£5,700 a year – more than the average two adult households
spend on food or housing. In London, this figure increases to
£7,000 a year, with some families playing much more.

This high care of childcare costs means that only 13 per cent of
parents with dependent children can afford to use childcare
services all the time.

The charity argues that government policies to abolish child
poverty and reduce the numbers of families with no earners will
only succeed with much greater public investment in affordable





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