Liz Truss Urges Rishi Sunak Not To Ditch Her Childcare Overhaul – Liz Truss persuaded Rishi Sunak not to ditch her cost-cutting childcare reforms. To tackle the labor crisis, the former prime minister intended to eliminate mandatory staff-child ratios in nurseries and increase free childcare support by 20 hours per week. Ditching staff-child ratios would have allowed nurseries to reduce expenses by increasing the number of children each adult was responsible for.
Currently, one adult is expected to monitor every eight children aged three, and one adult for every four children aged two. Her plans would have gone further than those of her predecessor Boris Johnson, who launched a consultation to ease the ratio for two-year-olds to five children for each member of staff – matching Scottish regulations. Truss had also wanted to provide 50 hours per week of free childcare for children aged three and four.
Parents of three- and four-year-old children in England are currently eligible for 30 hours of free child care each week. Sunak is reportedly considering extending 30 hours of free childcare to all children between the ages of two and four, as only benefit-claiming parents can now receive free care for their two-year-old children. Although Truss did not formally announce her proposals, she has long been in favour of changes to childcare since she worked in the education department as a junior minister almost a decade ago.
A number of Conservative backbenchers have expressed concern that Sunak does not appear to be giving childcare enough of a priority in his agenda, to such an extent that the Commons education select committee is set to launch an inquiry into the issue of childcare costs.
A source close to Liz Truss told a news outlet: “Excessive bureaucracy is making childcare in England increasingly unaffordable for many parents. The system needs to be reformed in order to boost growth and opportunity. Junking Liz’s plans for this critical policy area seems economically and politically counterproductive.”
A joint report welcomed by the Labour party revealed that free universal preschool childcare and more funding for after-school clubs could increase government revenues and save a family with young children between £620 and £6,175 a year. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Save the Children have advocated for a universal childcare guarantee for all families until the end of primary school, so that more women can return to the workforce and the attainment gap between rich and poor children in early years is reduced.
People Also Read: Tories Make Billionaire Ex-Mubarak Minister Senior Treasurer
The shadow education secretary, Bridget Phillipson, criticized Sunak for delaying changes to the childcare system. She said: “Accessible, affordable childcare is essential for children, for families, for our economy. But the prime minister doesn’t care. The Tories have given up on governing.”