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Children and nurseries are being failed by this government

·1-min read
<span>Photograph: Alamy</span>
Photograph: Alamy

As a single mother of a five-year-old and former nursery owner, your editorial (28 July) on childcare costs resonated with me, and my own experiences over the past five years.

I struggle to understand why we continue to fail our childcare providers, our parents and most importantly our children. Millions of children are missing out on structured learning and development opportunities in the first few years due to growing issues of affordability. And yet science tells us that our child’s experiences from conception through their first five years will go on to shape their next 50.

Nurseries are not just a means of allowing parents to get back to work (although this is vitally important if we want gender equality and a strong economy) but also critical for child development. The impact of nursery closures for just a few months in 2020 has demonstrated this – with 50% of children not being “school ready” at age five.

The recent review into the cost of childcare is farcical. Yet again it fails to give any financial support to a sector that is on its knees and needs urgent intervention. The current situation with 15 hours of “free” childcare means that settings operate at a loss for these hours. Furthermore, there is no mention of funding for under two years, which is when both parent and child need it most.

The government is right to finally be looking at what needs to be done, but plastering over the holes without a proper review into the situation will only create bigger problems further down the line.
Charlie Rosier
London