New childcare website to champion affordable childcare

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Childcare Champions, a campaign website, has launched three weeks before the Budget when a major Government announcement is expected on childcare funding.

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The new website has been created by social enterprise United for All Ages to actively promote quality affordable childcare for all parents in the UK.

The founders Stephen Burke and Denise Burke say that childcare is currently at a crossroads.

Their aim is to raise awareness through blogs and web debate, and stimulate public opinion. Visitors to the site will be able to join a national network of 'childcare champions' fighting against cuts to childcare services.

The campaign has been started out of concern for the direction that childcare policy in the UK is heading, particularly the Government’s planned childcare reforms set out in the More Great Childcare report, including proposals to increase staff: child ratios.

‘The Government is increasing the number of children that childcare staff can look after, which threatens quality without making childcare more affordable,’ said Stephen Burke.

‘We call on the Government to reverse its plans to increase ratios and reduce quality and ensure proper funding to make childcare affordable and sustainable.

‘Affordable quality childcare is central to economic and social progress for our country, parents and children.’

‘We want to inject some energy, passion and experience into public debate about childcare,’ he added.

Childcare Champions is also calling for a major review of all childcare spending.

Mr Burke pointed to speculation on what the Government’s long-expected announcement on affordable childcare could include, such as rumours about introducing tax breaks up to £2,000 on the cost of childcare for working parents, extending the tax exemption on employer supported childcare vouchers to £75 per week, and increasing the free entitlement to all two-year-olds, or to 20 hours for three- and four-year-olds.

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