British government has underestimated the impact of rising poverty rates on childcare, charity has warned.
According to a study by the 4Children charity, the new baby boom and poverty rates has caused nursery education crisis in the country. Earlier last week, Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said families earning less than £16,190 a year would receive 15 hours a week of free childcare for their two-year-olds. The 4Children figures, however, said this would not be possible because of the shortfall in numbers of child caretakers. The charity said an average of 51 more childcare workers are needed to be employed at each English local authority to meet childcare demands over the next five years. “By 2018 we are set for a 200,000 shortfall in childcare places for two-, three- and four-year-olds. Only action to grow the workforce and the number of childcare providers will ensure the government can continue to guarantee childcare places for all eligible families,” the charity’s chief executive Anne Longfield said.