Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has condemned inaction by the Tory Government as the cost of childcare continues to soar.
In the South West, the cost of after school clubs alone have risen over £778.24 since 2010. The average cost of a full time nursery place for a child under 2 has risen almost £1500 over 5 years.
Despite pleas from parents to prioritise children’s wellbeing, the Tory Government has left parents struggling with sharply rising prices, leaving children at risk of missing out. Nationally, the average family is spending more on after school clubs than their weekly shop.
This is preventing parents from working, with 40% of women working fewer hours than they would like because of childcare costs, rising to more than half of women in households with an income of less than £50,000.
In an Opposition Day debate in Parliament, the Labour Party pushed the Government to match the Labour Party’s own recovery plan for children which commits to free breakfast and afterschool clubs for all, supporting parents struggling to balance rising bills and prioritising children’s learning and social development.
Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:
“As the cost of living crisis worsens, with families battling ever rising bills, the Tories have failed to take any action to tackle the booming childcare price rises. Families in Bristol South face paying £778.24 more a year for after school clubs than they did 12 years ago when the Conservatives came into Government.
“It is not inevitable that a generation of young people are held back by the crisis of the pandemic – it is a choice by the Conservatives to not prioritise children’s recovery and their futures.
“The Conservatives have no plan, no ambition and no vision for our children. As the cost of living crisis grows, too many families cannot afford the early childcare, before and after school clubs that boost children’s learning and development. This is contributing to a growing attainment gap and must be addressed before it has damaging long term consequences.
“Labour’s children’s recovery plan would be delivering free before and after school clubs for all children now, in addition to breakfast clubs for every child, quality mental health support in every school and small group tutoring for all who need it.”