The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has accused the Welsh Labour Government of presiding over a childcare crisis. This follows the publication, of the Family and Childcare Trust's annual childcare survey 2014 which shows that childcare costs in England are falling in real terms for the first time in twelve years, whilst in Wales the cost of nursery care for under twos has significantly increased.
It has also revealed that local authorities reporting adequate childcare provision for under twos has gone down, with just one in five Welsh councils saying they have sufficient places available. Not a single council reported having adequate provision for children in rural areas.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling on the Welsh Labour government to do more to assist families who are struggling to find, and pay for childcare in Wales.
Mr Black said:
"The childcare report published today on International Women's Day makes grim reading for many parents in Wales. While childcare provision in England is vastly improving, here in Wales under Labour, parents are increasingly struggling to either find or pay for childcare.
"The Welsh Labour Government heralds its Flying Start Scheme, yet all too often it is not meeting key aims in terms of outcomes for parents and children. Flying Start is too inflexible and whether a parent can access the scheme depends on their postcode rather than their need.
"Not a single council in Wales is offering adequate provision for children in rural areas. We are going backwards in terms of both availability and cost of childcare. This simply isn't good enough.
"While Liberal Democrats in England take positive steps to support parents needing childcare, parents in Wales are being let down by Labour's complacency, and lack of action."
Notes for Editors:-
The UK Government is introducing tax free childcare for working families in 2015, which will be worth an extra £1,200 per child. This will benefit 110,000 families in Wales.
The Family and Childcare Trust's annual childcare survey 2014 can be found here: http://www.familyandchildcaretrust.org/childcare-costs-