Connect commentary: The cost-of-living crisis and childcare choices
There have been various stories and comments in the news recently about the cost-of-living crisis in relation to childcare costs – with some people believing that this could force parents to use unregistered childcare providers.
Our CEO and founder, Chris Reid, recently shared his thoughts on the topic with PACEY. If you missed the original article, catch up below…
“There’s no doubt that the cost-of-living crisis is hitting the early years sector hard. But to prevent parents feeling that they need to resort to unregistered – and potentially unsafe -providers in order to save money, the Government must step in and take action.
“It needs to stop applying ‘sticking plaster’ solutions to the sector and allocate it the funding it so desperately needs and deserves.
“Children’s welfare should be protected at all costs, and the vast underfunding within the early years sector poses a very serious threat – not just to educational development, but potentially to the welfare of the little ones whose parents are faced with little choice but to choose unregulated providers.
“The Government shouldn’t be putting families in this position.
“From my point of view, using a registered childcare provider is always the preferred option, as this regulation helps to ensure that the adults looking after the children are suitable to do so. Not only that, but this mechanism can help to protect children – ensuring a setting satisfies the registration requirements – which, as a result, offers peace of mind to parents that their children are in a legally compliant and safe environment.
“Against the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis, registered childcare shouldn’t be inaccessible, it needs to be democratised – everyone should be able to choose this option for their children.
“It’s been in the news recently about how thousands of nurseries have had to close due to financial difficulties, which, ultimately, traces back to underfunding on a governmental level.
“This isn’t anything new, the sector has been pleading for help for many years, but no one seems to be listening.
“Ultimately, the funding needs to change to reflect the cost-of-living crisis we find ourselves in. If it doesn’t, there will be more setting closures and less staff entering the sector, which will only exacerbate a very prominent problem that has existed for far too long already.”