Public Sector News

 

CBI: Government needs to be bolder to cut childcare costs and increase places

 

The CBI has commented on the government’s More Great Childcare vision for early years childcare, published yesterday.

Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said:

 “Raising staff quality is the key to improving children’s early development, so these measures are good news and increasing flexibility on child-to-staff ratios is one way of containing costs.

“Ministers need to be bolder if they are to tackle the rapidly rising costs and lack of places that parents face.

“The current £7billion a year system of tax credits, free nursery hours, childcare vouchers and child benefit is overly complex and wasteful. It needs to be simplified and targeted better at pre-school children, when care is most expensive, tapering away as they get older.

“The Government must work with employers to create effective tax incentives to boost take up of high quality provision and make it easier to set up structured childcare settings in workplaces - particularly in areas where educational performance is low.”

Background

- The CBI’s report, First Steps – A New Approach for Our Schools, published in November 2012 recommended:

- Greater focus of early years spending on parenting support and structured childcare provision in areas where educational performance is low – government must accept an element of differential fuding and target the budget on provision in the most disadvantaged communities.

- Raising the standard of childcare through adoption of the Nutbrown Review’s recommendations on improving early education quality, in particular staff competence and qualification and building on the work of the Childcare Commission to review ratios, the structure of tax support for families and the pattern of nursery provision to make this step affordable.