Early Years funding – Westminster Hall debate

November 22, 2016 at 11:05 am / by

Westminster Hall debate

It was an honour to respond to a debate for the first time as Shadow Early Years Minister, focusing on an e-petition calling to extend free childcare for two year olds in working families. I used my time to outline Labour’s view that free childcare for disadvantaged families is vital to reducing an attainment gap that exists between children of different backgrounds.

Using figures from the House of Commons Library and statistics from the Department of Education, I spoke about the Government’s record on childcare. I noted that there are 45,000 fewer childcare places since 2009, and that the cost of a part-time nursery place has increased by 32% since 2010, with families now spending over £1,500 more per year on childcare than in 2010.

The Minister failed to outline what steps her Department will take to address the funding shortfall facing early years education, and what substantial measures she will be taking to reduce childcare costs for parents. Childcare providers have been clear – without the funding to meet increased costs, they will be forced to pass on unaffordable costs to parents, and could even close their doors for good. My full contribution can be viewed here: