Tulip Siddiq and Kate Green visit nursery to call for targeted childcare investment
Tulip Siddiq MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children and Early Years, visited Bessborough Nursery and Pre-School (LEYF) in Pimlico today with Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, to highlight the need for targeted support for the childcare sector.
Parents whose children attend Bessborough Nursery and Pre-School told the Shadow Ministers about how they could not get back to work without the childcare that the nursery provides. Research suggests that 25 per cent of childcare providers may not survive this crisis, and Labour is warning that closures on this scale would devastate working families and the economy.
Labour is calling for the Early Years sector to receive the targeted support it needs, to help providers cope with substantially reduced income and higher costs during this pandemic, for which no specific support is currently available.
Tulip Siddiq MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children and Early Years, said:
“It was a pleasure to visit Bessborough Nursery and Pre-School and hear from parents about just how important childcare is to them, both for the development of their children and so that they can get back to work.
“Nurseries are going to be crucial for our economic recovery, yet we did not hear a word from the Chancellor about childcare in his statement last week, despite a growing crisis that threatens the closure of a quarter of all providers. We’ve already lost 14,000 childcare providers in the last five years, and we simply cannot afford to lose any more.
“Labour is arguing for targeted support for the childcare sector to prevent a wave of nursery closures, which would devastate working families and set back out economic recovery.”
June O’Sullivan, CEO of London Early Years Foundation, said:
“The staff at Bessborough Nursery and Pre-School and other LEYF nurseries have done an amazing job during this pandemic by providing a fourth emergency service to both the children of key workers and the most vulnerable.
“Nurseries rely on occupancy to survive. However, with relatively low levels of occupancy due to coronavirus – it is very difficult to stay afloat. I have to check every day that we have enough money to keep our nurseries going and very concerned that some nurseries, particularly in disadvantaged areas, may be forced to close for good.
“The Early Years sector is crying out for help and recognition from the Government in this time of crisis. Nurseries are a vital infrastructure to the economy by allowing parents to go to work whilst helping people out of poverty. If the Prime Minister is committed to getting Britain up and running, then this must start with our nurseries.”