A recent article in the Daily Telegraph states that ‘Unemployed are more deserving of free childcare’. Robert Halfon, former minister said children from deprived families with non-working parents were more in need of childcare than those with well off-working parents. Our initial thought reading this article was that this statement was unfair and why should unemployed parents benefit from free childcare more than working families whose household earns under government-mandated income thresholds?
The article comes across very misleading. Reading further into it Mr Halfron would like to reduce the household income threshold for the free 30 hours from £100,000 to £65,000. The reduction in the number of eligible children, and therefore funding set aside for those children, would free up £150 million to support the more vulnerable children, including children in foster care.
It has been very encouraging that finally working families are properly supported with their childcare through the 30 hours free provision, and this also helps non-working parents to return to work so helping the economy. What’s wrong with that? It’s been a long time coming and directly addresses inequalities in society that have been known to hamper our national productivity.
We will be looking out for any more signs of a detrimental revision to the current rules and keep you up to date. We may need to ensure our voice is heard in protesting against unwelcome changes.