EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: The Government has failed on childcare

Childcare costs have risen by 46% in the area.
Childcare costs have risen by 46% in the area.

Many mams and dads in Shields struggle to find and afford suitable childcare.This is little wonder since childcare costs in South Tyneside have soared under the Tories with parents now spending an average of £1,800 more each year than they did in 2010 – a 46% increase.

In some parts of the country new figures obtained by the Labour Party under a Freedom of Information request shows that costs have risen by more than 200%.

This adds to the growing list of Tory failures in childcare policy, as their own survey recently found a third of parents struggle with the cost of childcare.

Hidden in the recent Budget, it was reported that the tax-free childcare rollout, promised in 2013, will be delayed for a second time. One in three families promised free childcare by the Tories at the last election are now set to miss out because of broken promises.

In their manifesto, the Tories announced that free childcare for working parents would be extended to include three and four-year-olds making 630,000 young children eligible.

However, the National Audit Office has recently confirmed that one in three families promised free childcare before the election will now miss out.

Children are losing out on vital early education and families remain trapped in poverty because they cannot make work pay. Too many parents, mothers in particular are missing out from work, in large part because there is a lack of affordable childcare with the flexibility of childcare being a particular problem for many families.

Some families are fortunate to have grandparents around to look after their grandchildren.

However, the way the government keep moving the goal posts by raising the age of retirement there will come a time when this resource simply won’t be available for many families.

All we have seen from this Government is failure after failure on childcare.

Soaring costs and broken promises are badly letting down families up and down the country who continue to struggle with the cost of living.

These figures are yet more evidence that the Tories are just not serious about putting working people first.

Their pre-election promises on childcare have failed to match reality and it is children, parents and our economy that are paying the price.