Childcare is Infrastructure: Amendment to the Levelling Up Bill
Date Posted: Tuesday 13th December 2022
Public services such as childcare form vital infrastructure which enables our economy to function, families to work, and children to reach their educational potential. The Women’s Budget Group (WBG) therefore fully supports the amendment to the Levelling Up Bill tabled by Stella Creasy MP with support from a cross-party group of MPs. This will explicitly allow local authorities to use Infrastructure Levy funds – raised by charging the developers of new housing in their areas – to provide new early education and childcare places locally, placing it on a level with schools and GPs, and acknowledging it as the vital public service that it is.
Early education and childcare is facing a crisis of cost and accessibility which is holding back our economy and exacerbating inequalities. In the UK, an estimated 1.7 million women are prevented from taking on more hours of paid work due to childcare issues. As a result, up to £28.2 billion is lost in economic output every year.
Allowing local authorities to use infrastructure levy funds for childcare is a key step in creating an accessible and affordable system. WBG advocates moving to a universal, free early education and childcare system with well-paid and highly qualified staff. While the investment would be significant, it would offer much greater returns, bolstering our economy and supporting our children’s futures.
You can support this amendment by emailing your MP: https://pts.eaction.org.uk/infrastructure