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MPs to debate petition relating to funding and affordability of childcare

8 September 2021

On Monday 13 September, MPs will debate a petition relating to funding and affordability of childcare.

The debate will be led by Petitions Committee Chair Catherine McKinnell MP, and MPs from all parties can take part. Vicky Ford MP, a Minister at the Department for Education, will respond on behalf of the Government.

Commission an independent review of childcare funding and affordability

The petition, which has more than 112,000 signatures, states: “We have the second most expensive childcare system in the world. A full time place costs, on average, £14,000 per year, making it completely unaffordable for many families. Parents are forced to leave their jobs or work fewer hours, which has a negative impact on the economy and on child poverty.”

In its response to the petition, the Government said: “The Government is not currently planning a review of the childcare system. Support is available to help with childcare costs, and the Government monitors the sustainability of childcare providers.”

The impact of Covid-19 on new parents – one year on

This debate follows earlier work by the Petitions Committee to investigate the challenges facing the childcare sector. On 14 July, the Committee held an evidence session to hear how the Covid-19 pandemic was continuing to affect new parents and the childcare sector, one year on from its landmark report on this issue. During the session the Committee heard from petitioners, campaign groups including Pregnant Then Screwed, and representatives of the childcare sector.

This session was informed by a survey of petitioners, which received over 8,700 responses. The survey found that:

  • 77% of respondents ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that the cost of childcare had prevented them from getting the kind of childcare they need
  • 58% told us they ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that they have had difficulty finding the childcare they need
  • 72% of respondents who ran or worked for a childcare setting told us they expected the Covid-19 pandemic to have a ‘major’ or ‘moderate’ effect on their setting’s long-term financial sustainability

What are petitions debates?

Petitions debates are ‘general’ debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one, or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers.

Further Information

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