Petitions debate: Investing in free childcare

Today I was proud to lead the first Petitions Debate in Parliament on free childcare. Over 146,000 people signed this petition, including over 600 in Newcastle.

Childcare is a huge expense for families and it prevents many parents from returning to work after having children because it is just not cost effective.

We know that investing in early education, through government funded childcare places, helps cut the attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students, helps improve gender equality, and boosts our economy.

Currently free childcare is only available to some 2 year olds and all 3-4 year olds, with the hours varying between 15 and 30 per week depending on whether the parents are in work. However, the government are giving providers less money than is needed to provide this service, putting pressure on our nurseries, particularly those in disadvantaged communities. Many family services like Sure Start have also seen massive cuts.

Today I put the case to government for getting this right, with adequate funding for nurseries and more childcare provision.

Politics is the language of priorities and measures which tackle poverty, support families, and boost the economy should be at the top of the list.

Supporting families with childcare

Today I was proud to lead the first Petitions Debate in Parliament on free childcare. Over 146,000 people signed this petition, including over 600 in Newcastle.Childcare is a huge expense for families and it prevents many parents from returning to work after having children because it is just not cost effective.We know that investing in early education, through government funded childcare places, helps cut the attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students, helps improve gender equality, and boosts our economy.Currently free childcare is only available to some 2 year olds and all 3-4 year olds, with the hours varying between 15 and 30 per week depending on whether the parents are in work. However, the government are giving providers less money than is needed to provide this service, putting pressure on our nurseries, particularly those in disadvantaged communities. Many family services like Sure Start have also seen massive cuts.Today I put the case to government for getting this right, with adequate funding for nurseries and more childcare provision. Politics is the language of priorities and measures which tackle poverty, support families, and boost the economy should be at the top of the list.

Posted by Catherine McKinnell on Monday, 9 March 2020

Photo Credit: ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor