Stephen Twigg MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, has announced that Labour will call a vote in the House of Commons on controversial changes to the number of children that nursery workers can look after.
Stephen Twigg has accused the Government of “creating chaos and confusion” on plans to change the ratios of childcare staff to toddlers, amid warnings from professionals and parent groups that the reforms will threaten the quality and safety of care.
Labour will table an amendment to the Children and Families Bill at Report Stage, which is due to commence in the coming weeks.
Stephen Twigg MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, who is chairing the party’s Childcare Commission said:
“David Cameron and Nick Clegg are creating chaos and confusion on childcare.
“Nobody supports the plans to weaken childcare standards. Expert academics have told the Government that these changes would risk child safety and will not reduce costs to parents.
“And it’s not just the experts of course. As any parent will tell you, young children are demanding and they need lots of attention, so while a childminder can have the very best qualifications, they still only have one pair of hands.
“Labour have been campaigning on this issue for months, warning that the changes would risk the quality of care and even child safety.
“David Cameron is presiding over a crisis in childcare. Tax credits have been cut by £1560 and there are 401 fewer Sure Start centres than in 2010. The Government is doing nothing to help helping hard working families with the cost of childcare.”
Labour’s Childcare Commission has rejected plans to change ratios as happened in France, and is instead looking to countries in Scandinavia, which have a higher quality childcare that is more affordable to parents.
Stephen Twigg visited Sweden last year to see how the country provides better childcare and has higher female employment rates, including through co-operative nursery models.