STROUD MP Siobhan Baillie has asked Rishi Sunak during yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions if he is the man to sort out the “muddle of a mess” that is childcare provision.
Ms Baillie has been campaigning to see reform of childcare so that it is cost-effective, less complex and able to allow parents to go back to work.
Constituents and campaigners have contacted the MP about the issue, but Ms Baillie believes the situation has become more pressing due to rising living costs.
Ms Baillie says that ‘radical reform’ is needed.
“The UK has a workforce shortage, yet millions of parents are unable to work at full tilt and childcare providers are going belly-up due to policies being a maddeningly expensive muddle of a mess,” she told the PM.
“Will my right honourable friend please confirm that, after decades of ineffective tinkering and endless policies, he will be the man to give us proper childcare reform?
In reply the Prime Minister said: “I am pleased to say that we have announced ambitious new plans to improve the cost, the choice and the availability of childcare to benefit hundreds of thousands of parents across the country.
“That includes measures to increase the number of children that can be looked after by each staff member and making it easier for people to become childminders.
“We will respond to all those proposals in very short order.”
Speaking afterwards, Ms Baillie said: “We have an over complicated system of childcare that is often not affordable and inflexible.
“It is also a system that is making it hard for our early years educators to thrive.
“Too many nurseries have closed.
“We need radical reform towards a simpler system and one targeted to help parents go to work if they want.
“I will keep asking until I see that it is on the table.
“I welcome the PM’s warm words on the subject but action is needed not just more tinkering or new proposals.”