The Welsh Government’s statistical bulletin on childcare shows that parents are too reliant on family and friends for childcare. It also showed that too many parents struggle to access appropriate childcare during early mornings, after school and at weekends.
The statistics showed that 76% of parents in Wales utilise free childcare from family and friends. 51% of these parents used between one and ten hours of free childcare from family and friends a week. 23% used between 10 and 20 hours a week.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds commented:
Affordable and accessible childcare is essential to building a fairer economy. Too many parents, especially mothers, are unable to go back to work even if they want to due to the exorbitant costs of childcare. This must change.
We all value the huge help friends and family provide in helping care for our children, but we cannot take this help for granted. Our ageing population means that increasing numbers of people will have their own care responsibilities; limiting their ability to help others.
We must expand our childcare coverage. The Welsh Liberal Democrats are fighting for universal childcare for working parents, from 9 months to 4 years, so that parents can access childcare if and when they want it. This will allow us to build a fairer economy and a more equal society, where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.