Labour Say They Would Start An Immediate Review On Childcare In The UK If Elected

100,000 of you signed a petition asking for a review, two years ago.

Bridget Phillipson childcare

by Rhiannon Evans |
Updated on

The Labour Shadow Secretary for Education, Bridget Phillipson announced today that should they be elected at the next General Election, they would conduct a full review into the childcare system.

The plan, announced today at the Labour conference, looks to be in line with requests Grazia and The Juggle readers made alongside Pregnant Then Screwed over two years ago in a groundbreaking petition.

More than 100,000 people signed that petition, calling for an independent review into childcare. Today, founder and CEO of Pregnant Then Screwed Joely Brearley said they were 'elated' by the news but called for more certainty.

In a speech this morning, Phillipson outlined the Labour party's plans for education, including a renewed effort to ensure maths was a priority in early education, by introducing a phonics-style system - something which has taken most of the headlines.

But they also announced they would speedily begin a review into our country's broken childcare system, which sees parents paying eye-watering fees, while staff live in poverty and nurseries close, unable to go on.

Speaking in Liverpool, Phillipson said: 'Our ambition starts, as education starts, at the beginning of all our lives: our childcare system must be about life chances for children, as well as work choices for parents.

'That is why I am determined that new investment in childcare comes with ambitious reform, to ensure early education is available in every corner of our country for every family and every child.

'To drive up standards for our youngest children and lift up the amazing people who support and teach them.

'It’s why we’ll end restrictions on councils delivering childcare.

'It’s why today I’m announcing that Sir David Bell, former primary school teacher, and former Chief Inspector of Schools, will lead Labour’s work, to develop the Early Years Plan the next generation deserve.

'To bring high and rising standards, for the workforce we need, for the qualifications they’ll have, for the settings where it’ll happen, for the education they’ll give, to deliver our ambition for a modernised childcare system, supporting families from the end of parental leave to the end of primary school.'

Brearley told Grazia in response: 'We have been campaigning for a review of childcare for years. Without a review we will never truly understand why our childcare system is such a mess. We won't ensure that children with SEN are properly considered, and we won't be able to build a system that is sustainable as well as affordable.

'We are elated to have confirmation that Labour is starting work on an independent review, but we need to be mindful of parents who are making decisions right now on whether they can afford to have more children based on the cost of childcare and their parental leave entitlements.

'For now, parents will continue to be confused about whether childcare will be more affordable under a labour government. They need certainty so that they can plan for the future.'

Grazia's editor Hattie Brett said: 'When we partnered with Pregnant Then Screwed to ask for a full and independent review into childcare two years ago, we wanted struggling parents, childcare providers and workers to be heard. And so did the 100,000 of you who signed the petition. It's great to hear Labour agree there is a real need for a full review into childcare in this country and even better to see childcare at the centre of the political playing field for all parties ahead of the next election.'

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