Labour candidate Justin Madders has expressed concern after new figures out this week show that the cost of childcare has soared by 33 per cent under the present Government, with families spending £1,533 more this year than they did in 2010, while wages have remained largely static.
The figures, published in a report undertaken by the Family and Childcare Trust shows that in some parts of the country the cost of childcare has rocketed by as much as 53 per cent in the past five years.
Locally the report indicates that the average price for part-time places for children under two is £106.14 per week, while after-school clubs cost £43.03 per week and holiday clubs cost £103.38. The report also expressed concern about a failure by Cheshire West & Chester Council to address a decline in child-minder numbers.
Justin Madders said:
“I was alarmed to see such a large increase in childcare costs, particularly over a period that has seen families lose £1,600 a year on average in real terms. The Conservative Government has been completely complacent on this issue and too many local families have found themselves worse off.
That is why I am backing Labour’s pledge to extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for working parents with three and four-year-olds paid for by an increase in the bank levy. This will benefit nearly half a million children and their families and help parents overcome the barriers to getting back to work or working more hours.
I will also support the proposed primary childcare guarantee – a legal guarantee that parents of primary-aged children can access childcare from 8am to 6pm through their local school, helping families tackle the logistical nightmare that before and after-school childcare can become.”