Fiona Mactaggart MP today released a report, “What Mums are saying about childcare in Slough”. Released in advance of Mother’s Day it calls for affordable childcare in Slough, available during school holidays, and training with childcare for mothers so that they can go back to work or start a new career. The report also calls on providers to recognise the value of good quality childcare to children’s learning and development.
The report found that average part-time nursery places for 2 year olds cost over £6 per hour, just below the £6.31 minimum wage. Fiona has surveyed and talked to over 70 mums in Slough. Two-thirds of them said they would work more if childcare was more affordable.
Fiona said that: “Families in Slough tell me that the high cost of childcare means that many mothers delay returning to work, or choose between poorly paid part-time work or working full-time but spending nearly all of their wages on childcare. For some families the high costs of childcare means that work doesn’t pay so they are trapped on benefits. The recent budget won’t help. It offers nothing till 2015, and then tax breaks which do most for high earners”
The report reveals that school holidays are a crisis point. Many parents turn to food banks to get through the break. In October half term, use of the Slough Food Bank tripled compared with non-holidays usage.
Fiona also recommends childcare support to allow mothers to access training and qualifications.