SMF proposes that parents should be able to access financial support of up to £10,000 from a Government ‘National Childcare Contribution Scheme’ to pay for childcare which they would then pay back as monthly contributions made through the tax system.
Claire Schofield, NDNA’s Director of Policy, Membership and Communications, said: “We welcome the SMF report's recognition of the contribution investing in high quality early education and childcare makes to children and parents, as well as the long term economic and social return on that investment and the case for increased long term Government investment.
“Many working families are experiencing tough times with the current economic situation. In a very tight fiscal climate the National Childcare Contribution Scheme suggests a creative approach to support parents at a time when their childcare costs are highest. But we’re not convinced a loans system with quite a high rate of interest will help families long-term – we would have concerns that it risks fuelling further household debt.
“We do need to look at ways to simplify childcare funding and make sure government’s investment actually reaches childcare providers – at the moment many providers are telling us this is not happening. The SMF recognises the value of protecting money earmarked for childcare via a virtual voucher system, meaning money set aside for childcare would go straight to the childcare provider, an approach we believe should be extended to childcare tax credits.
“Whilst we welcome any creative thinking on how to support childcare costs, Government must not look to parents to replace the investment from public funds to ensure we have high quality, sustainable childcare for the long term. This SMF report is an important contribution to an emerging debate on how to help parents pay for childcare. Policymakers don’t have all the answers yet; NDNA is working with Government, providers and parent groups to find solutions that work.”
Notes to editors:
• National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) is a national charity representing children’s day nurseries across the UK, giving them information, training and support, so they can provide the best possible care to young children. NDNA is the voice of the sector, an integral part of the lives of nearly one million children and their families
• For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact Lindsay Garfitt, Senior PR and Policy Officer, on 01484 40 70 66, 07718 803652 or Lindsay.Garfitt@
# # #
National Day Nurseries Association is a national charity representing children’s nurseries across the UK, giving them information, training and support, so they can provide the best possible care to young children.