Across the country the costs of childcare are rising. Last year the national average costs of nurseries and childminding services rose by almost 20%. Parents in London are being hit particularly hard, with costs estimated to be up to 30% higher in the capital than the national average. A recent study showed that the number of working parents in London considering leaving their jobs due to childcare costs is also higher than on average elsewhere, and Centre for London’s own research highlighted the extraordinary squeeze on income faced by the capital’s modest earners, of which childcare costs played a big part.
As we approach the general election the issue also looks set to be a significant political battleground. Labour has pledged to grant 25 hours of free childcare for three and four year olds, while the Conservative-chaired London Assembly is urging the Mayor to introduce childcare voucher schemes, among a suite of recommendations.
Centre for London brings together political, academic and expert voices as we ask what can be done to ease Londoners’ childcare burden.