Rachael Maskell is calling on the Government to target its financial support at nurseries, childminders and other childcare providers at risk of closure.
The MP for York Central has warned about the devastating impact that mass childcare closures would have on working parents and carers, disadvantaged children and our economic recovery.
In the York City Council area, the number of childcare providers has reduced by 76 in the last five years (going from 342 providers in 2015 to 266 this year), and research by the Early Years Alliance suggests that a quarter may not survive.
Rachael Maskell MP says:
“Due to a decade of severe underfunding, childcare providers were struggling before this crisis, with thousands closing nationally every year. Now, without immediate and targeted support, we are at risk of losing those that have already managed to survive years of austerity.’
‘From speaking with providers in the city, many are really struggling to get by, having been consistently ignored by the Government, from the decision to U-turn on the amount of furlough funding they could receive to their exclusion from funding help to cover ‘exceptional costs associated with coronavirus’ like additional cleaning and the £1bn Covid ‘catch-up’ funding package.’
‘Over recent years we have seen pressures to find childcare places in York massively increase and any further closures would be absolutely devastating for families, particularly at a time when parents and carers are starting to return to work and other childcare options that may have been possible before the pandemic, such as grandparents or friends are now severely limited.’
“It’s time the Government recognised how essential childcare and early education is for families and the recovery of the economy and brought forward a proper plan. Today I have written to Gavin Williamson MP, the Secretary of State for Education to ask that he works with childcare providers to ensure that the right support is provided as a matter of urgency, in order to save this vital sector”
Follow the link below to read the article on the York Press Website: