Childcare: What matters to parents and children

You can see the full challenge paper here – Childcare, and the summary of the NPF discussions at Aston is here – Childcare.

Conference in September will debate the issue and confirm final policy.


Prior to the Aston meeting of the NPF, the Education and Children Commission had put out a first draft and then a revised “challenge document” – a short document outlining the main issues for this priority issue set by Annual Conference.

The main challenges Labour has to deal with were identified as:

  • high costs of childcare and less financial support for families mean almost a million women are put off working and many others face huge bills that mean work does not pay
  • how can we make childcare affordable and increase its availability?
  • how do we make it flexible?
  • how do we ensure it is high quality?
  • how do we fund childcare?

After the final NPF meeting at Aston in June 2013, the conclusions agreed were:

  • many childcare providers struggle to be sustainable because of low occupancy rates
  • ensure high quality childcare through training and professional development
  • direct funding of childcare places (paying providers directly) is preferable to giving money to parents, although this will always have a role too. Further discussion is needed to produce a policy that reflects both options.


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