UK childcare needs to be reformed, says Tory MP

Written on:May 21, 2023
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What does the future hold for childcare in UK?

Despite transformations in childcare provisions in the UK in the last two decades, the average British family spends 27% of their income on childcare, suggests Elizabeth Truss’s report for Centreforum.

The Tory MP for South-West Norfolk, Elizabeth Truss in her report said recent studies had shown problems with quality, price and availability of childcare. She wrote that the number of nursery places had surged since 1996, but childminder places had dropped to 245,000 in 2010.

In the report Truss argued that the decline in number of childminder places has led to price inflation and simultaneously fewer people are willing to become a childminder. To get rid of the red-tapism in childcare, childminders should be allowed to take of more children at a time.

According to the report, the current rule of one minder to take care of three children aged five or younger, should be changed to one adult for every five children aged five or under.

The report suggests that this would attract higher paid staff to the profession, hence improving the quality and availability of childcare. It will also make childcare more affordable, making the UK comparable to other European nations.

“The coalition Government has a great opportunity to simplify the provision of childcare and get better value for money for parents. Reform could lead to an increase in availability of flexible childcare and an end to spiralling costs”, said Truss in the report.

“Reform could lead to an increase in availability of flexible childcare and an end to spiralling costs”, she added.

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