Miliband identifies childcare as key cost of living battleground

Published on Monday, 18 November 2013 14:08
Written by Daniel Mason

Ed Miliband today identifies childcare as a key front in One Nation Labour's battle to tackle the cost of living crisis.

He will say parents who are already struggling to cope with rising bills and stagnant wages, are now facing a childcare crunch with the cost of nursery places rising while hundreds of Sure Start centres have been lost since the last election.

He will publish new figures showing that since the last election:

  • The cost of a part time nursery place has risen by 30% - five times faster than pay.
  • The average bill for a part time nursery place of 25 hours a week for a child aged 2 or over has gone up to £107.
  • Parents working part time on average wages would have to work from Monday until Thursday before they paid off these weekly childcare costs.
  • There are 578 fewer Sure Start centres – with on average three fewer every week – with lower numbers of staff and reduced service levels.
  • There are 35,000 fewer childcare places.

He will criticise David Cameron for promising to back Sure Start at the last election and then presiding over a child care crunch in which hundreds of centres have been lost – while too many of those that remain are operating with reduced staff and services.

In contrast to the Government which has done nothing to support families over the past three years, Mr Miliband will set out Labour's plan to:

  • Extend free childcare for three and four year olds from 15 to 25 hours per week for working parents of three and four year-olds funded by increasing the banking levy
  • Introduce a legal guarantee of access to wraparound care 8am to 6pm at primary schools

Source: Labour Party

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