Friday, 22 April 2016

Family and Childcare Trust: the state of childcare

Dear Mr Jones, childcare is a central part of family life, critical to the economy, and a key issue for voters.

With local elections fast approaching, the Family and Childcare Trust have prepared a short childcare fact sheet covering the state of childcare, as well as profiles for each Westminster parliamentary constituency.

The Family and Childcare Trust works to make the UK a family friendly society where all parents and children have the resources they need to thrive. We work with parents, business, and government, undertaking research, policy advocacy, campaigning, and providing information, in order to support families across the UK.

Our fact sheets cover vital areas such as the current level of childcare provision, cost, and use, and sets out a useful overview of the system and current issues facing families. Our key findings are:

1. Although parents get help with the cost of childcare, many families are still left with a substantial bill. Nursery prices have also increased at well above the rate of inflation, rising by 24% between 2011 and 2016.

2. There are shortages of childcare in many parts of England, particularly free early education places in deprived areas and after-school childcare.

3. While the uptake of free early education among deprived two year olds is increasing, an estimated 41,300 three year olds missed out on free early education in 2015.

The full report can be viewed and downloaded from our website here:

http://www.familyandchildcaretrust.org/sites/default/files/England%20election%20fact%20sheet%202016%20FINAL.pdf

We have also produced constituency profiles, giving information about childcare prices, gaps in provision and free early education in individual parliamentary constituencies. For links to these profiles, please click here:

http://www.familyandchildcaretrust.org/constituency-england

I very much hope that candidates find this information useful, that it helps them to highlight the critical issue of childcare, and that it supports them as they stand up for families in your constituency.

Thank you very much for your time, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.