Childcare is one of the most expensive costs for working parents with families in the North West paying 46% more for nursery places since 2010. For some families paying for childcare can be as much as having a second mortgage and childcare costs can be a major barrier to getting into work and making ends meet.
Labour’s plans, welcomed by Andrew Gwynne, Labour MP for Denton and Reddish, would introduce a guaranteed wrap around childcare place before and after school for primary school children benefitting more than 56,000 children and their families in the North West. Ten extra hours free childcare provision for working parents of three and four year old will also be introduced, paid for by an increase in the Bank levy.
For many parents, arranging good quality, available childcare can be a logistical nightmare. Labour’s primary school childcare guarantee would put parents minds at rest, help them manage before and after school care to fit into the working day and give their children extra opportunities.
Extending free nursery hours for three and four year olds from 15 to 25 hours for working families means that parents can work part time for the first time without having to worry about the cost of childcare. The fifteen free hours available to all three and four year olds remains in place as well as the 15 hour offer for the 20% most disadvantaged of two year olds.
Labour MP Andrew Gwynne said:
“Families in my constituency are facing a cost of living crisis of David Cameron’s making. Whilst millionaires are getting tax breaks people here are suffering. Childcare is a key cause of the cost of living crisis for working parents and I’m pleased Labour have pledged to introduce these bold policies to make a difference to hard pressed mums and dads. A Primary guarantee will make arranging quality before and after school care easier, and extending the free childcare offer from 15 to 25 hours will be worth over £1500 for parents of three and four year olds to help them pay their childcare bills.
“Energy bills are through the roof and the cost of childcare can be like a second mortgage. These offers by Labour to help with childcare will make a real difference to local families, helping make childcare accessible and affordable and helping to give kids in our area the best start in life.”