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74% of local people say plans for less childcare regulation are wrong

A survey by Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson finds 74 per cent of people are against any government plan to deregulate childcare. The survey comes shortly after a new study by the Think Tank Resolution Foundation revealed that the spiralling cost of private childcare means households with two working parents can be as little as £4 a week better off than those where one parent stays at home.

The survey by Bridget also showed that two-thirds (67 per cent) of people believe childcare should be the responsibility of both parents and the government, with support going to families facing the greatest financial risk. Free universal childcare and a provision of highly skilled early years staff were found to be the two most important priorities for local people, while many suggest extra nursery facilities at primary schools and better training to retain childminders.

In addition, three-quarters of childminders replying to a separate survey on the effect of possible changes to laws governing childcare were against any plans to axe Ofsted inspections.

Commenting on the results of her survey, Bridget said:

“Families in my constituency are being hit hard by the rising cost of living. The cost and availability of good quality childcare is particularly worrying.

"Local people have made it clear that the cost of childcare should be shared between government and parents. Childminders have also made it known that the government should not cut regulation of childminders or reduce Ofsted’s role in ensuring quality.

"If ministers really want to boost the economy, they need to take responsibility for a childcare system designed to support those most in need, help keep parents in work and ensure children have the best possible start in life.”

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