Addressing the shopworkers’ trade union annual conference, Paddy Lillis – Usdaw Deputy General Secretary said:
“The average cost for holiday childcare, per child, now lies at over £125 per week.
“Whilst, under the previous Labour Government, local councils and Sure Start centres were able to offer affordable provisions to help working families, recent cuts to local services have meant that many of these provisions have been forced to close. As a result, the cost of holiday childcare has risen by 20% since 2010.
“Holiday childcare is now simply unaffordable for many working families, leaving them to rely on informal family arrangements, unpaid leave or even leaving children at home alone. There is a clear need for the Government to intervene.
“The problem of childcare arrangements isn't merely restricted to the school holidays, many working parents also struggle with the cost of childcare for pre-school children.
“In recent years, there have been some steps to address this issue, however many two-year olds are not given access to free childcare. Recent studies have shown that there are clear educational benefits to children attending properly supervised nursery places from an early age and these benefits should not be dependent on the parent's ability to pay. Education and childcare should be available to everyone.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fourth biggest trade union with nearly 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion