“Early childcare the key to fighting poverty”-Welsh Lib Dems push for fully integrated childcare system in Wales

11 Mar 2024

This week in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Government to develop a fully integrated childcare system to help tackle high levels of child poverty in Wales.

According to a report from Oxfam Cymru, 27% of parents said that they spent over £900 a month on childcare. Whilst 67% reported having to cut working hours because of a lack of childcare.

The Children’s Commissioner Annual Report for 2023 found that 28% of children lived in poverty between 2019-2022, however as these statistics predate the Cost-of-Living crisis this figure could be far higher.

Commenting, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

“Families across Wales are facing the impossible task of choosing between working or forking out thousands of pounds for childcare.

To put it simply, families are being priced out of work by the cost of childcare.

But there is a solution to this problem, a solution that only requires ambition.

An ambition to change the system, to make life easier for families and to create a brighter future for our children.

A report from Public Health Wales has empathised how early childhood education and care can offer the promise of a “triple dividend”, one that not only fosters positive child development but also empowers women and drives economic growth.

The report highlights Slovenia as an example of a leading nation in reducing child poverty,

Their focus on harmonising childcare, aiding families as a whole rather than children alone, has proven effective in preventing the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

The proof is in the metaphorical pudding, we know that by developing a fully integrated childcare system we can take a positive step forward in the fight against poverty.”