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Maternity discrimmination charity Pregnant Then Screwed utterly baffled at Government childcare proposals

Government proposals to tackle child care “woefully inadequate” says maternity discrimination charity Pregnant Then Screwed.

Date 4TH July 2022: The Government has proposed increasing the number of staff to child ratios in childcare settings for 2+ year olds, and pledging £1.2m to the marketing of the tax-free childcare scheme to tackle the childcare and cost of living crisis.

The Government believes that an increase in ratios will save parents £40 per week. This has been proven fundamentally flawed and inaccurate by the Early Years Alliance.

Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed had this to say:

“The proposals put forward by the Government are woefully inadequate. This is an urgent situation that is forcing families into poverty as they cannot afford to work. None of the proposed schemes will save parents money. Both Pregnant Then Screwed and the Early Years alliance have conducted surveys with childcare providers on the impact of increasing ratios for 2 year olds. In our own research only 20% of providers said that increasing ratios would have a financial benefit to their company, and of those, only 8% said that any cost savings would be passed onto parents. We are utterly bemused by their calculation that this change could save parents £40 a week, as the sector is telling us otherwise.


We also know that parents do not want ratios to change, even if it saves them money. The notion of increasing ratios, which will inevitably decrease quality, comes at a time when children need the maximum amount of support following the pandemic. England already has the lowest qualification requirements for childcare workers in comparison to other liberal welfare states. We know that highly qualified workers and low child to staff ratios produce the best outcomes for children – under this Government’s plans we will have neither, and yet we will continue to have the second most expensive childcare system in the OECD.


Investing £1.2 Million in promoting tax free childcare is essentially polishing a turd. Tax free childcare has existed for 7 years and yet it is repeatedly presented as something new. Our research with parents shows that many don’t apply for it as it is too complicated or they aren’t eligible. Promoting it will make very little difference. Meanwhile, we know that the issues with applying for the childcare element of Universal Credit are that parents have to pay upfront which they can’t afford to do. Promoting a failed system does nothing to fix it. This Government had had years to come up with a plan to fix our broken early years sector, is this really the best they can come up with?


Parents are in crisis. Almost half of mothers are considering leaving their job due to childcare costs, whilst two thirds say their childcare costs the same or more than their rent or mortgage. We don’t just have a cost of living crisis, we have a cost of working crisis. To fix this problem and to prevent more families falling into poverty, we need smart, decisive action. Parents across the country will feel failed again by this announcement, and a Government that does not understand the challenges they are facing.”



For further press information or case studies from Pregnant Then Screwed please contact: [email protected]


Notes to Editor: 

About Pregnant Then Screwed ( Pregnant Then Screwed is a charity that seeks to protect, support and promote the rights of pregnant women and mothers. 


We carry out extensive research into the effects of systemic cultural and institutional discrimination during pregnancy and motherhood. Our support services include: a free employment rights helpline, pro bono legal advice and a tribunal mentor scheme that supports women who are considering legal action against their employer.


We campaign for changes that will end the motherhood penalty and we support working mums to rebuild their confidence and find work that works for them.

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