Free Childcare Entitlement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:48 pm on 6th September 2017.

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Photo of Julie Cooper Julie Cooper Shadow Minister (Health) (Community Health) 12:48 pm, 6th September 2017

I welcome the principle of 30 hours of free childcare, but it cannot come at the expense of quality early years education, and that is exactly what is happening. Many children in my constituency from deprived communities currently have access to quality nursery schools employing qualified nursery school teachers, and those schools are doing tremendous work to enhance the life chances of those children. Those schools assure me that they will not be able to fund the continued employment of those qualified teachers. It is important that we make a distinction between childcare and early years education. I note that Save the Children also raised concerns about this issue yesterday, maintaining that 40% of those who took part in the pilot areas actually reported a loss in profits and, therefore, a threat to their sustainability.