Mother’s Day is the day we say thank you to our mums for everything they do. When the cost of everything from energy bills to childcare keeps going up and up while wages stay the same, suddenly mums are facing difficult decisions to make ends meet.
One of the biggest problems that parents talk to me about is the cost of childcare. Parents locally are facing a triple whammy childcare crisis of this Government’s making. Prices are up 30% and places are plummeting since 2010. Support for parents has also been cut with some parents getting £1,500 less help with childcare support through working tax credits. This is having a real impact on the ability of mums to go out to work and for work to pay.
Yet mums calling out for help with childcare now will have got little comfort from the Budget. Whilst new support through tax free childcare is a good start, families struggling now won’t see any benefit until next year.
On top of tax free childcare I would like to see an extension of free childcare for working families with three and four year olds by an extra ten hours, to 25 hours a week, 38 weeks a year. This would mean that for the first time a second earner will be able to work part-time without having to worry about paying for childcare. This increase in childcare support would be worth £1,500 per child and would help mums to get back to work or work the hours they want.