A MAJOR helping hand for working parents will be announced in a few months, it’s been revealed.
MPs have been told by Kwasi Kwarteng that members of the Cabinet will reveal new reforms in childcare to help boost the economy.
The Chancellor claimed that plans to reduce childcare costs, including nursery fees will be unveiled soon.
In the Commons on Friday, Mr Kwarteng delivered his mini-Budget and said: “Over the coming weeks, my Cabinet colleagues will update the House on every aspect of our ambitious agenda.
“Those updates will cover the planning system, business regulations, childcare, immigration, agricultural productivity and digital infrastructure.”
At present, the cost of childcare in the UK is the second-highest among developed nations.
As reported by the Telegraph, the cost of a full-time nursery place for a child under two has risen from £236 a week in 2018 to £274 this year – a leap of 16 per cent.
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed in April that he wished to reduce the required ratio of nursery staff to nursery children, and this was backed by current PM Liz Truss, at the time.
The aim of reducing the number of staff to children was to decrease prices for parents, and currently England permits a minimum of one employee to three children under two-years-old.
For two years and over, the number of children increases to four per member of staff.
Purnima Tanuku, the chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association, warned against this decision.
It would risk putting additional pressure on an overworked workforce while undermining efforts to give children the best start in life.”
For background, in 2014 Ms Truss was the schools minister, and she said she felt it was appropriate to allow ratios of six children aged two and above to one adult.
For the under two’s Ms Truss suggested three children per adult.
On Friday night, Downing Street declined to comment on whether Ms Truss still wanted to see childcare ratios reduced.
However, a source close to Kit Malthouse, the new Education Secretary, alleged they are discussing a range of options to ease childcare costs and would not rule it out.
The source said: “Mr Malthouse wants to improve support for parents and boost economic growth through getting people back to work”.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said: “It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that the relaxation of ratios is any kind of solution to the current cost of living crisis.
“Such a change would be a catastrophic and retrograde step for the early years sector.
“Now more than ever, many children attending early years settings need far greater individual care and attention. Relaxing ratios will achieve the exact opposite.”