Pre-school childcare costs are squeezing working families. Last year, nursery costs rose six times faster than wages, squeezing families and making work unaffordable for many parents.
Meanwhile, for school-age children, childcare can become a logistical nightmare. If we want an economy that works for working people, we need to support parents struggling to access childcare that fits around their working day.
That’s why Labour has announced that, in Government, we would expand free childcare for three and four year olds from 15 to 25 hours per week for working parents.
The extra 10 hours of free childcare would be available to households with 3 and 4 year-old children where all adults are in work – either single-parent households where the single parent is in work, or couple households with both adults in work. The 15-hour early years entitlement will remain universal.
The value of this extra childcare support is over £1,500 per child per year. To fund this, the next Labour Government will increase the bank levy rate to raise an extra £800m in order to meet the cost of this extra childcare support for families.
A Labour government will also introduce a ‘Primary Childcare Guarantee’, giving all parents of primary school children the guarantee of before and after school care, accessed through their school, from 8am-6pm.
Parents will still have to pay for this wraparound childcare, just as they do at the moment, and those who qualify for childcare support will get help with the costs through tax credits and childcare vouchers, as they do now.