Rishi Sunak defends new childcare provisions as critics claim early years sector already struggling

  • last month
A report by Coram Family and Childcare found the shortage of childcare places has worsened across England, Scotland and Wales, as costs for families have also risen. Josie Irwin is the head of equality at British trade union Unison. She says while more free childcare hours will help working parents, it may harm the already struggling early years sector.

Some parents are being forced to travel long distances or borrow money for a nursery place. A report found only around twenty nine percent of councils have enough spaces for children under two - down from forty two percent last year. But education minister Gillian Keegan said the government was "working all across the country to make sure we build the capacity to cope with the demand". Rishi Sunak said this is a really big change and we need to take the time to get it right, for the sector to grow and expand"

After facing backlash for the scheme's rollout in England, Sunak defended the plan. Labour called the system a "total mess" amid claims there won't be enough places. but the PM called it a "positive and exciting moment", while Education sec Gillian Keegan said one hundred and fifty thousand families had already registered.