When is help with childcare costs not helpful? When you have a stay at home parent, it would appear.
I have posted before about the high cost of childcare and the difficulties inherent in the current system of support. I think it’s one of the key issues of our time, with big impacts on economic growth and equality. I’ve long said the Government should be tackling it as a top priority.
So imagine how disappointed I am today to see that our family and many others are likely to be WORSE off under today’s proposals.
The new childcare support will only kick in when both parents are in work. And the old system of childcare vouchers will be abolished. So the system we currently use to save around £100 a month in childcare costs is going. And we’re ineligible for the new system. Hmmm, not good.
The small print does say that the vouchers will remain for ongoing claimants. But this means I risk this help should I move employer. And also closes the door to any new parents not yet claiming vouchers.
We are very fortunate that we can afford for my partner to be a stay at home dad. This isn’t an option for many I know. We’re also lucky we can afford a small amount of nursery care for Bub too. This isn’t much, just two half day sessions at nursery a week. And that is only affordable because of the childcare voucher savings.
We very much value this nursery time – both for Bub’s development and socialisation and to give his dad a bit of a break. And now we have a second child we have the extra reason of being able to spend dedicated time one on one with Baby. These positive benefits will be lost to parents missing out in the new approach.
Well done to the Daycare Trust for flagging this issue in their response. I hope the Government listens.