New statistics revealed by Labour's shadow Minister for Childcare and Children Lucy Powell MP show that Labour’s plans to extend free childcare provision for working parents with three and four year olds would help 18,000 mums to get back to work or work the extra hours they want.
Families facing a cost-of-living crisis have seen childcare costs increase soar 30% under David Cameron. Whilst early-years childcare places have fallen by 8,173 from September 2009 till September 2013.
Analysis from the House of Commons Library show that if maternal employment for women with dependent three and four years-olds was increased by 5 or 10 per cent, and the number of mothers in work who worked more hours increased by the same amount (part time to full time) there would be an increase of 65,000 to 135,000 in the whole of England.
Government Figures uncovered by Lucy show that more than half of mothers currently not in paid work would prefer to be in paid employment if they could organize reliable, convenient, reasonably priced, good quality childcare. Nearly a quarter of employed mothers would increase their working hours if they could arrange such childcare.
Official figures show that over 50,000 three and four-year-olds and their families would be eligible for labour’s extension of free childcare in the North West.
Labours Shadow Minister for Childcare and Children Lucy Powell MP said “Hardworking families are coming under more and more pressure with childcare in David Cameron’s cost-of-living crisis. Childcare costs are soaring, there are fewer places available, and at the same time wages are down £1,600 a year.’’
“Labour will stand up for families and extend free childcare for three and four year olds with parents in work from 15 to 25 hours. Labour will also introduce a Primary Childcare Guarantee to help parents manage the logistical nightmare of before and after-school care.”