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Responding to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s pledge to help a million more women into work by 2020, which includes extending the amount of free childcare to 15 hours a week for all two-year-olds and 20 hours for all three and four-year-olds, 4Children Chief Executive Anne Longfield OBE said:
We need modern childcare arrangements for modern family life. High quality, affordable childcare enables parents to work and supports children’s development during their vital early years.
Too many women are currently being prevented from working the hours they want to or from working at all - we know that one in five parents are considering either giving up their job or reducing their hours because of the cost of childcare. The status quo makes little sense for families, and little sense for the wider economy too.
Employers also have a role to play - enabling all parents to work more flexible hours would make a real difference to those needing to balance their work commitments with childcare responsibilities.
4Children is calling on all the main political parties to commit to a universal guarantee of quality, affordable childcare for every parent of a 0-14-year-old who needs it.”