Response to government announcement regarding childcare support

Released on: 14 October 2011

Childcare support will be paid to around 80,000 more households, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg and Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith announced on Friday 7 October

Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser for NCT, the UK's largest charity for parents, said:

“The announcement from the Department of Work and Pensions of further financial help for parents to cover childcare costs is a welcome move. The decision recognises the dilemmas of parents such as those identified in the research from Save the Children and Daycare Trust, published last month, which showed that, for example, ‘Of those families in severe poverty, nearly half have cut back on food to afford childcare’. (http://www.daycaretrust.org.uk/data/files/Research/making_work_pay.pdf).

“The Deputy Prime Minister refers to ‘the difficult daily juggling act between family and work’ and this is a pressure on all parents that NCT is well aware of. In the current economic circumstances when many families are struggling to live on an income reduced by unemployment or frozen wage levels, help with childcare costs is essential.

“Children’s Centres have previously functioned as an ideal ‘one-stop-shop’ for parents who can find high-quality care for their young children while at the same location they themselves can access direct and online advice about employment, financial help and continuing education, to help them return to work. NCT urges the government to re-consider decisions about limiting these initiatives, which proved a lifeline for many parents.”