Children’s Education Recovery and Childcare Costs

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:37 pm on 7th June 2022.

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Photo of Stella Creasy Stella Creasy Labour/Co-operative, Walthamstow 4:37 pm, 7th June 2022

I thank the Minister for giving way. The point that my hon. Friend Catherine McKinnell makes is apposite because we know that the vast majority of families picking up on the tax credits to be able to use early years are from wealthy households, and that a lot of families are being priced out of early years childcare because of the cost. I am sure the Minister would agree that the fact that nearly £2.8 billion-worth of tax credits were unclaimed last year is a problem; if there is a subsidy for childcare, we should encourage parents to take it up.

Does the Minister understand how perplexing the situation is? If it was a priority for the Government, we would see them investing in telling parents about it. For example, the Government spent £35 million on adverts about Brexit in last year, but they have spent £150,000 in total on telling parents where they can get tax credits to cover the cost of childcare. Does he understand the concern about that disparity, and what is he going to do about it?