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Ruth challenges government on high cost of childcare

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On Tuesday 21st February Ruth Cadbury MP led a Parliamentary debate on the affordability and availability of childcare. During the debate Ruth spoke about the huge pressures facing parents, many of whom are either spending large amounts of their income on childcare, or are unable to return to work due to the high cost of childcare.

In her speech Ruth quoted the experiences of women across the country who struggle with this dilemma and warned the Government that ‘100 years of progress’ towards gender equality was being put at risk due to the high cost of childcare. Ruth also spoke about the huge challenges facing childcare providers across Hounslow and warned that these providers, who do not want to put up their fees, were facing a ‘triple whammy’ of higher energy costs, soaring food prices and an outdated business rates system.

Ruth’s speech also covered the challenges facing nurseries who provide additional support with special educational needs, along with the importance of childcare for children’s development, and the recruitment struggles in the sector.

Speaking in full after the debate Ruth Cadbury MP said,

‘‘I know from listening to people locally that the soaring cost of childcare is having a huge impact on families across West London. So many parents are having to pay out more and more to access childcare, and many new mums and dads are unable to return to work because of the high costs and lack of availability. This is having a huge impact not only on people locally and their children, but also on our economy and productivity as a nation.

‘‘I also spoke about the pressures facing local childcare providers who have told me about the increased costs they were facing and the pressures they were under. We’re lucky to have an amazing group of nurseries and early years providers across Hounslow, yet they’re being let down by the Government.

‘‘It’s clear that the Government have sat on their hands over the past decade and allowed this crisis in childcare to grow and grow. Families locally cannot afford yet more dither and delay from the Government.

‘‘That’s why I’ll continue to campaign for truly affordable childcare and a modern system fit for the 21st century that supports children and families from the end of parental leave until the end of primary school.’’