Thanks to the Petitions Committee, the Government petition to ‘Reform the Childcare System’ has now been published, and is live earlier than we expected! We need you to push this petition. One of the reasons that the Maternity Petition gained the attention it did, was because of quickly it gained signatures. So push this now. Send it to your mates. Send it to your mum. Go and knock on your next door neighbours door and get them to sign too.
Without investment in childcare, and a reform of the childcare system, mothers will be left behind. At the Liaisons Committee on 27th May it was acknowledged that female workers have been hit harder by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister stated that “childcare is absolutely critical for the success of the economy” and that he would do “whatever it takes to help get women back into work”. While schools and nurseries have now been reopened, with the costs of childcare being unaffordable for many, and many areas once again not permitted to rely on informal childcare through Grandparents, once again parents are faced with being unable to work. We know that mothers take on the majority of childcare responsibilities, and so women will continue to be disproportionately impacted by lockdown measures. This will affect everybody. The maternal employment rate is crucial to the success of the economy, and a drop would take an incredibly long time to recover from. In recent years, the rates of maternal employment reached 75%, up from 66% in 2000. This progress is being reversed, and without drastic intervention it will not recover to pre-crisis levels. The economic recovery of the whole country relied on getting men and women back to work, but without childcare parents will be left behind, and the economy will not recover and many more families will be reliant on the benefit system.
Though we have put a solution forward that we believe would provide the much needed support while also balancing the costs, we are open to other solutions that would provide the support families need whilst also supporting the early years sector. Our proposed solution is a sliding scale of funding based on household income, while also placing a cap on the hourly price of childcare, at a level that would allow childcare settings to profit. We would like childcare funding to be in place from when the parent ends their Maternity, Paternity or Adoption leave. On the face of things, this may look like higher income families lose out, in actual fact this would mean the funding they receive would simply be spread out over the years, rather than only being in place from ages 3-5. We want funding support to be in place for children of all ages. Not just from 3 as it is now. It would also hopefully provide the support early years setting require.
We are not experts on the childcare system. We are parents who know that as it is childcare is unaffordable for us and many parents like us, and that nurseries are struggling. Change is needed. Reform is need. While you may not agree with the solution we have put forward, if you agree that reform is needed, then sign this petition. If this petition gets enough signatures, then a parliamentary debate will take place and a discussion around the change that is needed will take place. The problems that families are facing will be put to the people who can make the decisions. And that’s what we need. The people who can make the decision to sit and acknowledge that change is needed, and hopefully (finally) do something.
Sign the petition. Reform the Childcare System.