Prime Minister David Cameron has recently announced that he intends to set up a new commission that will focus on childcare and work with parents and providers to try and find ways to make childcare more affordable.
As well as looking at ways to reduce the cost of childcare, the commission will look for inspiration from international childcare models and also consider ways to increase places and “wrap-around care” for children over-five, during holidays and out-of-school hours.
The Daycare Trust has revealed in its annual ‘Childcare costs survey 2012’ that working parents are now paying, on average, £15,000 per year for childcare - more than a third of their income - and with little financial help.
According to the Trust, the high cost of childcare is forcing many parents to consider sacrificing work in order to care for their children, whilst living off national benefits.
Here at CVS we think the introduction of the commission is a very positive step by the Government. There is an obvious need to balance the need for quality childcare with affordability and it will be interesting to see what conclusions the commission arrives at.
Times are very tough for many UK families, especially in the current climate and it’s great that the Government is starting to address some of these issues.
We have long been campaigning for addition support to be made available for working parents, such as by increasing the tax-free limits on childcare vouchers in line with increasing childcare costs or by making the vouchers scheme available to the self-employed, so they too can benefit from the savings.
We hope that these measures may now be seriously considered, as they could make a huge difference for so many parents.
If you’re a parent or childcare provider and would like more information about childcare vouchers, then you can find more details on our website www.computersharevoucherservices.com or on our interactive Facebook page www.facebook.com/computersharevoucherservices.