Saturday, 19 March 2016

Family and Childcare Trust’s annual Childcare Survey.

Dear Mr Jones, I am delighted to be able to share with you the Family and Childcare Trust’s annual Childcare Survey. This report – the 15th in a series – provides the most comprehensive analysis of childcare costs and availability in Britain.

Key findings

· For the first time in eight years, average childcare prices have risen only in line with inflation throughout Britain. A part-time nursery place for a child under two rose by 1.1 per cent.

· The price of a part-time nursery place for a child under two and an after-school club for a five year old is now £7,933 a year. This is more than a third of the pre tax salary of a nurse, and 22 per cent of a soldier’s.

· There are significant gaps in provision. More than a third of councils reported a lack of free childcare place for three and four year olds this year. This is up from 23 councils in 2015.

· Just 45 per cent of councils in England had enough childcare for parents who work full time. Only 15 per cent of councils in England had enough childcare for disabled children, compared to 21 per cent in 2015.

Key recommendations

Ø Make an early education place a legal entitlement for children, bringing it in line with a school place.
Ø Integrate all financial support into one simple, transparent and progressive system for parents that delivers help to those who need it most.
Ø Require every local authority to develop a funded childcare inclusion plan to address gaps in access to care for children with special education needs and disabilities.
Ø Help providers expand to fill gaps by offering grants for start-up costs and publish guidance on market management for local authorities.
Ø Make sure childminders are able to offer free early education provision by providing small grants to help with compulsory training costs, insurance and equipment.

We would be very grateful for your support in highlighting these issues. You can help by:
Tweeting about the report using #ChildcareSurvey
Raising at PMQs, Education Questions on 7 March or ask a written PQ about childcare in your constituency
Putting out a local press release
Sharing the report with your constituents

I would welcome the chance to meet with you and discuss childcare in your constituency, so please let me know if this may be possible. And if you have any queries or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Best wishes,

Julia Margo
Chief Executive
Family and Childcare Trust – Creating a family friendly UK
81 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 0NQ