The Tory MPs in the UK are arguing with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak over his plans to postpone reforming the childcare system in England. Senior Conservative lawmakers have cautioned Sunak that childcare changes must be given first priority since the cost to parents is too high. According to reports, Sunak is likely to put the reforms on hold, and they are also anticipated to be much smaller now.
According to reports, Sunak is abandoning the modifications to the daycare system that his predecessor Liz Truss had proposed. Her proposal increased the amount of free childcare by 20 hours per week and loosened restrictions on staff-to-child ratios, which limit the number of youngsters one adult can care for.
England now has the second-highest childcare costs among developed countries. Truss had pledged that the revisions would help significantly lower them. The head of the Common’s education committee, Robin Walker, called for “a serious set of policies” to be implemented. Conversely, a Truss-related person is said to have encouraged Sunak to keep the childcare measures. The PM is not scrapping the standards, according to officials at 10 Downing Street.
Simon Clarke, the former leveling-up secretary, said that “childcare is hugely and unnecessarily expensive in England and we should do all we can to support working mums.”
A source close to Truss told The Times, “Excessive bureaucracy is making childcare in England increasingly unaffordable for many parents. The system needs to be reformed in order to boost growth and opportunity. Junking Liz’s plans for this critical policy area seems economically and politically counterproductive.”
“Liz Truss rightly wanted to be bold on childcare and while I’m personally not convinced that changing ratios and just expanding existing schemes is the right approach, the message should clearly be that decent reform is still coming,” she wrote on Twitter.
All three and four-year-olds are eligible for 15 hours of free childcare each week during the academic year. Some families may also claim up to 30 hours.
Truss intended to expand the number of hours of free childcare to as many as 50 per week. Additionally, she preferred that childcare assistance funds be distributed to parents directly as opposed to the facilities providing the service.
According to a Coram Family and Childcare Trust report, nurseries in England charge an average of £265 per week for 50 hours of childcare. In some areas of downtown London, the figure increases to £358 weekly.
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