Ruth George MP and shadow early years minister Tracy Brabin MP with Janet Ackers, Head of Gamesley Early Excellence Centre, and youngsters.
Shadow Minister for Early Years and Childcare, Tracy Brabin MP joined Ruth George to visit nurseries and childcare providers across High Peak to gather further evidence for the campaign for fairer funding for nurseries.
Tracy visited Gamesley Early Excellent Centre and New Mills Nursery before having a lunchtime discussion with nursery owners and childminders from across High Peak at Rems Wine Bar in Chapel.
All the nurseries felt that the low level of funding for the 30 hours of childcare offered by the government for 3 and 4 year olds was threatening the quality of the childcare they were able to provide. In some cases, nursery owners felt they would be unable to continue in business.
Tracy Brabin is campaigning for a settlement in next week’s Budget that will enable nurseries to continue to offer good or outstanding care.
“More than half of nurseries across the country are saying they are worried they can’t continue. If that happened in any other business sector there would be a national outcry, but nurseries are just expected to carry on.
It makes me very worried so whilst it was a delight to visit such brilliant nurseries in High Peak, it was sad to hear how they are suffering from the lack of funding and that some children from poorer families are now unable to access good quality childcare. The nurseries gave me some fantastic evidence which I will use when making the case to the Government before next week’s Budget. I hope Ministers will listen before we see more nurseries unable to continue.”
Ruth George was very pleased with the outcome. “Local nurseries have been making the case to me since before the election that they cannot afford to run on the paltry sums the government are paying for the 30 hours of funded childcare for 3 and 4 year olds. I am determined to fight for nurseries as they are so important for our children – and for the parents who rely on being able to access good quality childcare so they can go to work with peace of mind that their children are safe, happy and learning.
“Working with Tracy, we are both continuing to make the case and we hope Government will act to help nurseries in the Budget.”
Ruth George MP and shadow early years minister Tracy Brabin MP with Claire Inman, Head Teacher at New Mills Nursery.