Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop has today (9th May 2013) slammed the Coalition’s childcare policy branding it a ‘car crash’ amid warnings from professionals and parent groups that the changes to the number of children that nursery workers can look after will threaten the quality and safety of care.
“Childcare is an extremely important issue and is one that Labour have been campaigning on for months. These changes seriously risk not only the quality of care but potentially child safety, yet all David Cameron and Nick Clegg are doing is creating chaos and confusion.
“Nobody supports the plans to weaken childcare standards and even expert academics have warned the Government that these changes would risk child safety and will not reduce costs to parents. Young children can often be demanding and require lots of attention, so while a child-minder can have the very best qualifications; they still only have one pair of hands.”
Labour’s Childcare Commission has rejected plans to change ratios as happened in France, and is instead looking to countries in Scandinavia, which have a higher quality childcare that is more affordable to parents.
“David Cameron is presiding over a crisis in childcare; cutting tax credits by £1560 and there are 401 fewer SureStart centres than in 2010. The Government is doing nothing to help helping hard working families with the cost of childcare.”
Labour will table an amendment to the Children and Families Bill at Report Stage, which is due to commence in the coming weeks.