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In response to the Treasury Select Committee report into childcare support, Ellen Broomé, Chief Executive of Family and Childcare Trust says:

For too long, childcare support for training has been patchy with many parents at risk of falling through the gaps of a piecemeal system. This is a missed opportunity to boost social mobility by supporting parents to raise their skills and family income, as the Treasury Select Committee report rightly recognises. Extending free childcare for three and four year olds to children with parents in training, rather than just work, would be a good place to start.

The report also recommends moving to upfront payments for childcare in Universal Credit. Without this change, low income parents risk being frozen out of work – but this is not the only fatal flaw for Universal Credit and childcare costs. While the cost of childcare has risen steeply over the last decade, support through the benefits system has been frozen and no longer covers average childcare costs. The lowest income families face a £6,000 shortfall each year meaning they may end up worse off working more hours.

The doubling of free childcare for three and four year olds has been popular with parents who are eligible, but many childcare providers have raised concerns about the funding rate. Government must continue to gather evidence on the cost of high quality childcare and make sure that funding rates match this.


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Notes to Editor:

About the Family and Childcare Trust

The Family and Childcare Trust works to make the UK a better place for families by bringing together what we learn from our on the ground parent-led programmes and our research to campaign for solutions that parents want and need. We focus on childcare and early years to make a difference to families’ lives now and in the long term.

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