Emma recently joined Shadow Childcare Minister Lucy Powell to back plans to guarantee wrap around childcare before and after school and offer ten hours’ extra free childcare to working parents with 3 and 4 year olds. Labour’s plans will help ease the cost of living crisis affecting families in Shields, saving working parents £1,500.
The proposals will also make it easier for parents to manage the twin pressures of work and childcare. Part time workers will benefit from the additional ten hours of nursery care, allowing them to earn more while spending less on childcare. This policy would help the parents of more than 1,000 3 and 4 year-olds in South Shields, and 436,000 nationwide.
Childcare is one of the biggest areas of spending for families at the moment. The cost of nursery places has risen more than five times faster than pay since the last election, with the average parent’s bill now at record levels. At the same time the number of childcare places available has fallen by 35,000, thanks to the closure of nearly 600 Sure Start centres.
“Parents in South Shields are facing spiralling childcare costs, on top of the other challenges brought on by the cost of living crisis. I’m pleased Labour has made a pledge to extend the free childcare offer, relieving the financial stress for parents and making it easier to plan their lives.”