People’s confidence in business generally is very-much influenced by their specific experiences as employees. And access to childcare, which helps staff balance work and family responsibilities, is part of that.
Childcare is also a factor in opening jobs up to more diverse ranges of people.
The CBI called for help with childcare costs in its report A Better off Britain which outlined a number of measures to raise living standards.
Now, the Childcare Bill, which will increase free childcare provision for three and four-year olds, is about to be introduced. (Tues 2.6.15).
The Government said:
“The Government will bring forward plans to double free childcare for working parents — with some families set to benefit as early as next year.
“The Childcare Bill …..will double free childcare available for all working parents of three and four-year olds to 30 hours a week — available to up to 600,000 families and worth around £5,000 a year –including the £2,500 they can already save from existing free childcare offers.”
Commenting today (Mon 1.6.15)
“It’s good to see the Government shining the spotlight on childcare and lending a helping hand to working families. Many parents want to come back to work or put in more hours after having a child, but can’t because of soaring childcare costs.
“Increasing free childcare provision is an important step to enabling parents to pursue their careers, and to allowing businesses to retain skilled and talented employees.
“In time we would like to see the gap closed between the end of maternity leave and the start of free provision.”
But how much Government does in this area is not the only question. The CBI’s trust-in-business campaign, The Great Business Debate, is asking what the role of business is.
Contributions include, Anand Shukla of the Family and Childcare Trust who wrote, “Businesses could learn a lot by having the conversation about childcare with their employees, as after all, businesses rely on childcare just as much as parents do.”
And, Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts spoke to us on-camera about how offering flexible working benefits businesses by giving them access to a wider pool of talent.
So what do you think? Are employers and the Government doing all they should to help people work and meet their family responsibilities? Join the debate here and on twitter @bizdebate