Ken Livingstone today put families at the heart of his Mayoral campaign, as he launched a pledge to tackle childcare in the capital at Bemerton Children's Centre in Islington.
With research showing that 40% of an average London family’s income goes on childcare and travel, Ken is committed to tackling this through his Fare Deal fares cut and new childcare measures he will announce today.
I joined Shadow Home Secretary & Minister for Women Yvette Cooper MP and Val Shawcross AM, as Ken pledged that if elected in May he will:
- Help families with upfront childcare costs through offering grants of up to £700 to low income families and interest-free loans to families earning up to £40,000 per year.
- Provide funding to create more out-of-hours childcare places at 200 nurseries across London.
- Campaign against Tory cuts to childcare tax credits.
Londoners face some of the highest childcare costs in the world. The GLA estimates that London parents accessing full-time childcare have to pay, on average, £200 a week – nearly £10,000 a year.
One of Boris Johnson’s first acts as Mayor was to abolish the GLA’s Childcare Affordability programme, which helped more than 10,000 families to enter or sustain employment through helping with the cost of childcare. The Tory-led Government have reduced the entitlement for the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit, costing more than 50,000 London families over £1,200 per year.
Ken Livingstone said:
“Families in London are facing a childcare crisis which I believe the Mayor has a duty to address. Not only is this in the interests of millions of families across the capital, it is in the economic interests of London.
“Parents in London face the most expensive childcare in the country and huge barriers in being able to access childcare when they need it. Yet the Tory Mayor and the Tory government have hit London families with a double whammy, with their cuts to the Mayor’s Childcare Affordability programme and childcare tax credits.
“I will take action for London’s parents, through offering grants and interest-free loans for upfront childcare costs, increasing out of hours childcare, and lobbying the Tory government to reverse their cuts.
“It is completely unacceptable that 40% of a London family’s income goes on childcare and travel. But with my childcare pledge and Fare Deal fares cut, families in every corner of the capital will find themselves better off.”