Eastleigh mum Madeline Cole, travelled to parliament earlier this month to meet with Winchester and Chandler’s Ford MP Steve Brine to voice her concerns about the rising costs of childcare.
The event, hosted by family charities, NCT and the Family and Childcare Trust was held to support parents being squeezed out of the workplace by expensive childcare costs.
The NCT say that with 80% of women planning to return to work after having children and nursery costs for under twos in the South East, rising by 2.5% in the last year alone, many parents in the local area are struggling to cope and that with only 43% of local councils in England reporting sufficient levels of childcare for working parents, finding quality childcare is also an increasing issue.
Madeline Cole, mother and NCT Eastleigh volunteer said,
“Childcare costs are prohibitive to many women returning to work. I’m fortunate that I’m able to use my family support network to care for my daughter. I know many families in the local area that do not have this option and are unable to afford childcare.
“It is a great shame that so many women are unable to continue their career or improve the living standards of their own families because of the prohibitive cost of childcare.
“It was a great opportunity to be able to talk to Steve directly about the issues families face and the NCT Manifesto call to offer all parents 15 hours of free childcare as soon as parents return to work. Steve took the time to see me and he listened and understood all the issues families with young children face”.
Winchester MP, Steve Brine added,
“With two little ones of my own, I understand these challenges very well of course but it’s always useful to meet constituents and hear about their experiences. This Government has a strong record for working parents with 15 hours free childcare delivered for 3 and 4 year olds, free childcare for 2 year olds for lower income families and new rights for shared parental leave and flexible working but there’s more we can do.
“As ever with the NCT, the lobby was well organised and very clear in what it was asking of the next Government. I will be arguing their case within my party without hesitation”.