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TUC - Ministers have “broken their promise to parents”, says TUC

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak Comments on a report on the rollout of free childcare hours published by the National Audit Office (NAO) today (Wednesday), which shows “challenges and uncertainties” in the rollout of free childcare hours

“The Tories promised working parents that they would provide more free hours for children aged 2 and over from this month, a further expansion for 2 year olds in September, and a full rollout for all children aged over 9 months in September 2025.  

“But today’s report shows that the policy was botched – and has left the sector unable to cope with this poorly planned expansion. Childcare places are falling leaving parents scrambling.  

“Ministers should have addressed the staff recruitment and retention issues in childcare well in advance of this rollout. Caring is skilled work and the – predominantly female – workforce deserves decent pay and conditions.  

“The Tories have broken their promise to parents and let down working people – yet again.” 

TUC analysis published in August found every English region was struggling to recruit childcare workers.  

Nearly all (95%) of English councils who responded to a Coram survey said that childcare providers in their area were having difficulty recruiting childcare workers – and eight in 10 (80%) local authorities described it as “very difficult”. 

Editors note

- NAO report: https://www.nao.org.uk/reports/preparations-to-extend-early-years-entitlement-for-working-parents-in-england/  
- A plan for the care workforce: In August, the TUC launched a call for a comprehensive strategy for the care workforce in England: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/every-english-region-struggling-recruit-childcare-workers#:~:text=The%20analysis%20suggests%20childcare%20recruitment,the%20right%20skills%20and%20experience.    
- About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living. 

Original article link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/ministers-have-broken-their-promise-parents-says-tuc

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