Robert has praised the Government’s recent announcements on Early Years Funding.
In the build-up to the Spring Budget, Robert wrote to the Chancellor to highlight the critical need for an increase in funding for Early Years.
In his letter, Robert commended the Government’s 2017 Early Years Workforce Strategy. However, Robert emphasized that though action has been taken, more must be done to improve childcare options for young families in the UK and attract the very best teachers into the field.
The cost of raising a single child now stands at over £150,000 for a couple and £200,000 for a single parent. In recent times, we have also seen nursery costs reach an average of £14,836 per year per child. These costs are having an unexpected, real impact on young families who simply cannot afford to provide their children with early care. Families are therefore having to make difficult choices between returning to work or paying for costly childcare.
The Chancellor has now set out the following policies to alleviate the burden from hard working young families in the UK: to provide 30 hours free childcare a week from 9 months old for working parents, increase the hourly rate for nursery providers and lastly, to pay childcare costs upfront for people on Universal Credit.
Commenting, Robert said: “Early years funding is an area I feel passionately about and one I have been campaigning on for some time.
It is not right that parents with young children have to choose between caring for their children at home or paying for hugely expense childcare as they return to work.
Before the Spring Budget, I wrote to the Chancellor to highlight the need for an increase in funding in this area.
I frequently visit schools and nurseries in my constituency. From these visits I am acutely aware of the challenges facing both parents and teaching staff in early years settings.
I am therefore pleased that the Chancellor has prioritised this issue and has responded positively to my campaign. His commitments to support families with young children in the UK are very reassuring. The Chancellor has rightly recognised the difficulties facing young families, especially during the current cost of living crisis and he has taken action to help.”