Labour's Childcare Commission kicks off listening series in Swindon

12 July 2012

Stephen TwiggAt the first listening event held by the Labour Party Childcare Commission, Stephen Twigg MP, Labour's Shadow Education Secretary and Chair of the Commission, is expected to stay:
 
"Parents and hardworking families are being hit by a triple whammy in childcare. Costs are rising as families continue to feel the squeeze of a double dip recession made in Downing Street. The availability of places has reduced. And as a result of this Government’s tax and benefit changes, government support to the average family has reduced by £511 per year.
 
"Ed Miliband has identified childcare as a key priority for Labour’s policy review. Today we are in Swindon to ask parents what they would want from a childcare policy from a future Labour government. This will be the first in a series of listening exercises in which the Commission will engage in a genuine dialogue with parents on their childcare needs.
 
"David Cameron told us that his would be the most family friendly Government in Europe. Instead what we are seeing is Sure Start closures and cuts in financial support for parents. Since 2010 over 30,000 women have chosen not to seek employment because of the costs associated with working, including childcare. We are here today to launch our conversation with the public on how to create a system that makes work pay, centres childcare around the educational needs of our children and contributes to rebuilding a rebalanced economy that works for working people."
 
Ahead of the event, Liam Byrne MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said:

 
"Countries like Denmark have shown just how high quality childcare can get more people into work, raise family living standards, boost equality – and give working families back something they really value for all the money they pay in tax and national insurance. That’s why Labour is so focused on transforming childcare for our youngsters and their parents who feel under the kosh juggling hours at work, bigger bills at the end of the months and cuts to tax credits.
 
"We want to learn what the lessons of the Danish Day Care Act can show us here in Britain, and that means listening to just what working parents say they need.
 
"This is about a something for something deal. Working parents put a lot in. It’s about time we gave them more back, starting with the things that help them with the most difficult job in the world. Being a great parent."

Yvette Cooper MP, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, speaking ahead of the launch of the Labour Party's childcare commission listening series in Swindon today, said:

"Child care costs have gone up. Sure Starts and tax credits are being cut. And the result is that thousands of women are struggling to work.

"This Government's continued blind spot on women is letting families down and undermining the economy too as many mothers are being forced to give up work or turn down jobs because of childcare problems.

"Improving childcare helps families, helps women in work and helps the economy too. That's why this Commission and the views of families right across the country are so important."