Childcare providers to lobby MPs on 30 hours
Thursday, July 5, 2018
Over 100 nursery owners and practitioners are to gather in Parliament on 18 July to lobby MPs on the 30 hours.
The event, organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Childcare and Early Education, will provide early years providers with the opportunity to meet with their MP to discuss the challenges the 30 hours of funded childcare poses to their business.
Along with MPs, members of the House of Lords are also due to attend the event.
The aim of the lobby day is to inform a large number of parliamentarians about the issues of concern for the sector, as well as secure their support for more funding for the policy.
The APPG for Early Education and Childcare is backed by the Pre-school Learning Alliance, National Day Nurseries Association, Tops Day Nurseries and The Foundation Stage Forum. It is chaired by former shadow early years minister Tulip Siddiq.
Cheryl Hadland, owner of Tops Day Nurseries, said, ‘We are aware that the MPs need evidence from us on our key issues. The areas we are particularly concerned about, and hoping to discuss with MPs include funding, business rates, VAT, recruitment and retention issues, training and sustainability.
‘We are expecting some of the MPs to take the opportunity to speak to the attendees and we look forward to hearing what they have to say.
‘As MPs are at Westminster anyway it is reasonably convenient for them to drop into the lobby day, but they are very short of time, so we have to be as effective as possible in communicating what we need and to assist them also – it’s a mutually beneficial opportunity for the whole sector that I’m absolutely delighted I’ve been able to inspire and set in motion.’
Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), said, ‘This lobby day is a great opportunity for representatives from the sector to come together to collectively raise our concerns and offer solutions to the challenges nurseries are currently facing.
‘With the spending review approaching, it is important that we are persistent and consistent in our messages to Government.
‘NDNA’s members will be discussing with MPs the positive impact the 30-hours free childcare policy has had on parents and children at their setting as well as the challenges the policy poses to their business, particularly in regards to underfunding and rising staffing costs.’
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said, ‘30 hours is one of the most important issues facing the sector, and so this is a great opportunity for frontline practitioners to get in front of politicians and share their first-hand experiences of the impact this incredibly flawed policy has had on their businesses.
‘As a founding sponsor of the APPG, we are committed to keeping up the pressure on the Government to actually start listening to providers and parents, and the lobby day is just one part of the APPG's larger plans to ensure just that.’