In her role as Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Lucy warned on a visit to Orchard Children’s Centre in Warrington that some families in the borough will miss out on 30 hours free childcare due to Ministers’ broken promises.
Lucy visited Orchard Children’s Centre and meet parents at a stay and play session to talk to them about services for families and the cost of childcare.
Since 2010 the cost of childcare in Warrington has risen by 17 per cent - this means parents are now paying £750 more for a part-time nursery place than they did five years ago. Before the general election David Cameron promised working parents with 3 and 4 year olds 15 extra hours of childcare on top of the 15 hours every child receives introduced by the last Labour government.
However, since then, the government have reduced the eligibility of the scheme meaning that parents have to earn £107 per week to be eligible. As a result, low income parents will have to work more hours than higher paid parents to be eligible for the scheme.
Across the country government figures show that one in three parents who were promised the scheme by the Tories will now miss out because the government failed to properly identify the cost of the scheme.
It’s great to be visiting Orchard Children’s Centre to learn more about the vital work staff and Warrington Labour are doing to improve services for families. Childcare is a big issue facing families across the borough.
The Government’s childcare plans are in complete chaos. One in three working parents promised free childcare by David Cameron at the last election will now miss out because Ministers are unable to make the funding for their manifesto childcare pledge add up.
The government have no strategy to improve the quality of childcare and underfunding is a real issue for how the scheme is delivered. The Tories’ pre-election rhetoric on childcare has failed to match reality and parents, children and our economy will pay the price.