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Friday, November 09, 2012

Plans to subsidise 'nightmare’ costs of child care

On a more serious note the announcement by Nick Clegg that he will be lobbying in Whitehall for more money to be spent on reducing the cost of nursery places is very welcome.

Childcare costs can be a major barrier to women returning to work. The Telegraph says that one policy likely to be considered is increasing the state-funded free child care allowance for three and four-year-olds from 15 hours a week to 25.

Currently, an estimated one million women who could work are not doing so, partly because child care costs in Britain are among the highest in Europe.

Parents are spending up to £15,000 a year on nursery fees, while part-time child care in London costs up to £130 a week, recent figures suggest.

This is long overdue. I hope that we can make some progress on it.
"child care costs in Britain are among the highest in Europe."

That's the problem which needs to be addressed most urgently.

Increasing the state subsidy is merely going to pump taxpayers' money to private providers without doing anything to reduce the overall cost.
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