Parents: Have your say on childcare costs

childcare costs

childcare costsWith rising prices, government cuts and a reduction in the number of places available, many of us are increasingly in need of help with childcare costs.

The Labour party calls this a "triple whammy" for families and says that the difficulty of finding affordable childcare is particularly affecting women's ability to return to work.

Labour 'listening parties'

As a result and in response to the Government's recent review of childcare, Labour has organised a commission on the affordability of childcare as part of its policy review, and parents can have an active say on the party's policy.

As such, a number of "listening events" are to take place throughout England to "engage in a genuine dialogue with parents on their childcare needs" in order to make it easier to get help with childcare costs.

Explaining the idea at the first event in Swindon, shadow education secretary, Stephen Twigg, said: "David Cameron told us that his would be the most family friendly government in Europe.

"Since 2010 over 30,000 women have chosen not to seek employment because of the costs associated with working, including childcare."

Labour believe that not enough is being done to stop the tax and benefit system hampering mothers who wish to work and say that a "real, professional" childcare service should exist for parents.

Shadow minister for women and equalities, Yvette Cooper, said: "This government's continued blind spot on women is letting families down and undermining the economy too as many mothers are being forced to give up work or turn down jobs because of childcare problems."

However, it is worth considering other options for childcare that could save you money, such as sharing a nanny with friends, using after school clubs and taking advantage of free early learning care.

The coalition's commission on childcare

In June the coalition began its own childcare commission to look at deregulation, child-minding and how to improve and extend wrap-around care for schoolchildren.

Led by Children's Minister Sarah Teather and Work and Pensions Minister Maria Miller, it is scheduled to report its findings to the Prime Minister this autumn.

When it was launched in June, David Cameron said: "Working parents want to know that after school or in the holidays their children will be looked after in a safe, happy environment that is affordable.

"We want to do all we can to reduce the cost of childcare for parents, and make sure they can find and afford high quality nurseries, after-school clubs and holiday schemes for their children."