MP Meg Hillier slams ‘out of touch’ government over childcare consultation

Meg Hillier slammed the government this week for being “out of touch” and having “no respect” for parents and childminders.

The MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch made the complaint after the government scheduled a consultation period for child care reforms that coincided with the school summer holidays.

She said: “To open a consultation over the summer period when schools are closed and parents and child carers go on holiday shows ministers are out of touch and have no respect for hardworking parents and child carers.”

Ms Hillier championed Hackney childminders’ cause in parliament last month after they raised concerns that the recommendations of a government report on childcare could put children at risk and reduce their earnings.

It suggested that childminders should be able to look after five under-fives at once (rather than three currently) and should be registered and inspected through a private agency.

She said: “I have met with many Hackney parents and childminders over the last month who are very concerned about proposals to downgrade the status of childminders.

“The parents who I have spoken to want affordable child care of a decent quality and the regulation of child minders helps ensure this. Childminders are also proud of the professionalisation of their role.”

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She has written to the Secretary of State for Education to ask the Childcare Commission to extend the deadline on its ‘call for evidence’ beyond August 31.