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10 January 2023

Education Select Committee to review Childcare Sector following Grazia campaign

Almost two years since Grazia partnered with charity Pregnant Then Screwed (PTS) to campaign for childcare reform, the Education Select Committee has committed to a review of the childcare and early years sector in England. This follows a petition launched by The Juggle – Grazia’s dedicated parenting brand – and PTS which was signed by over 100,000 people in less than 72 hours.

The inquiry led by the Committee will examine how easy it is to navigate the current childcare system for parents and carers, and whether current childcare entitlements are providing families with affordable and flexible childcare. It will also assess the effectiveness of different funding entitlements, including those funded by the Department for Education, the Tax-Free Childcare scheme and support for childcare from the benefits and tax credit system. The consultation is now live, and the Committee is accepting evidence until Thursday 19 January.

Hattie Brett, Grazia Editor, says: ‘When we started a petition with Pregnant Then Screwed back in 2021, we knew the lack of affordable childcare was something many of our audience were struggling with, but even we underestimated the response. We’ve been inundated with stories from women who’ve had to give up or scale back working because they can’t afford childcare via our parenting platform The Juggle. Not only has the cost of childcare had a devastating impact on the mental health of parents, it has far-reaching economic consequences. We hope this is the first step in the Government tackling a subject that’s crying out for change.’

Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed adds: ‘Campaigning can often feel like you’re bashing your head against a brick wall, but we finally have proof that our collective voices are being heard in Westminster. This consultation is the result of mothers, families and every campaign group who has given evidence, and made noise about the state of childcare across the UK coming together and pushing back. We want to thank every mother who has filled out a survey, signed a petition, contacted their MP and attended March of the Mummies.  This is the boost that we have all been waiting for after so many years of screaming into the ether that our early years sector is collapsing, and taking parents, children, and our economy down with it.’

For more information and to submit evidence, please visit Pregnant Then Screwed’s guide on responding to the consultation.


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