Mark Whitehead 26 May 2023

Campaigners call for reform of pre-school childcare

Campaigners call for reform of pre-school childcare  image
Image: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com.

Campaigners are calling for a fundamental reform of the pre-school childcare system to make sure all children benefit.

A report by Coram Family and Childcare and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says that even with the Government’s recent extra investment children will miss out on the high-quality pre-school care and education that supports their development.

Tackling Disadvantage Through Childcare says affordable childcare is essential in making work a route out of poverty.

But it says a low earning parent takes home around £4 per hour worked after childcare costs, and once the universal credit taper rate has been applied it erodes more than half of their earnings.

This means that a low earning single parent will find that they are only £60 per month better off if they increase their working hours from four to five days.

The report calls for complete reform of the system including investment in the quality of childcare, including better pay for professionals and higher levels of qualifications and a simple, affordable, means-tested payment system for parents.

Megan Jarvie of Coram Family and Childcare said: ‘We urgently need to rebalance the childcare and early years system to better serve the children who stand to benefit the most.

‘We have set out a reformed system to better meet the needs of all families and children, and to level the playing field for disadvantaged children.’

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