New figures show that in Norwich North there are 2,862 children aged 1-3, and 8,476 children aged 4-11, but only 56 registered childminders and 356 childminder places.
The research from the Labour Party highlights the challenging situation facing families in accessing affordable childcare. According to the OECD, the UK has some of the highest childcare costs in the world. It also follows research showing the disproportionate impact on women of the childcare crisis. Campaign group Pregnant then Screwed highlighted data which shows that for the first time in decades the number of women leaving the workforce to look after family has increased. For women aged between 25 – 34 years old, it has increased by 12.6% in the last year.
The statistics were revealed in a parliamentary question submitted by Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Bridget Phillipson.
Alice Macdonald, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Norwich North said
‘Childminders provide really important flexible and affordable care for children. These figures are extremely worrying and show the crisis facing childcare locally and across the country. In Norwich, the situation is even more acute, with an ongoing recruitment crisis. We’ve already seen a number of nurseries and pre-schools close in the last year.
“Under the Conservatives, childcare has become unavailable and unaffordable. It’s half term right now and many parents will be juggling work with childcare and will be simply unable to find the provision they need. Childcare is a real challenge for many families I have spoken to across Norwich North and needs to be urgently addressed by the Government. One of my priorities is ensuring there is proper investment in early years and a modern childcare system that works for families.’
The research comes after the Shadow Education Secretary, Bridget Phillipson pledged that a Labour Government would totally transform childcare with a system that provides comprehensive support from the end of parental leave right to the end of primary school and recognises how modern families live their lives today. That includes the introduction of fully funded breakfast clubs in every primary school.