Labour warns of ‘perfect storm’ for childcare

The Labour Party says a ‘perfect storm’ of rising childcare costs and thousands of providers at risk of closure due to a lack of government support will make it impossible for many parents to return to work.

Analysis has revealed that childcare costs have risen between two and a half and three times as fast as wages since the Conservatives came into office in 2010. The Early Years Alliance figures further indicate that there are nearly 19,000 childcare providers in England that are at risk of closing in the next year.

One in four childcare settings felt it was somewhat or very unlikely that they would be open in 12 months time, meaning nearly 19,000 of England’s 75,000 childcare settings are now at risk of closure.

Labour says that childcare has repeatedly been neglected by the government in its response to the crisis. The Chancellor did not mention the sector during his economic update, and the Prime Minister did not mention it when outlining initial plans to reopen the education system. The party also claims that parents were also ordered back to the office by the Prime Minister without being given any additional support to access the childcare they need to return to work.

Kate Green, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said: “The Conservatives have created a perfect storm for working parents across the country, with a crisis in the childcare sector locking children out of early education and making it impossible for many parents to return to work.

“Ordering parents back to work without allowing them to access the childcare they need is a stark reminder that Boris Johnson is completely out of touch with the needs of working families. The government must urgently provide targeted support to the childcare sector, and ensure that parents can access the childcare that they need.”