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Childcare inflexibility standing in the way of parents' work

26 August 2015

Citizens Advice has said that childcare provision needs to be simpler and more flexible to help people into work. The charity is responding to a speech today by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan calling on childcare providers and local authorities to begin offering 30 free hours of childcare per week ahead of schedule.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

"Childcare isn't working for many parents.

“Four in ten of the people we help say lack of access to childcare is standing in the way of their employment.

“The Government's commitment to help parents into work through childcare is welcome, but the childcare being provided is often inflexible, doesn't cover work patterns and is expensive outside the free hours.

“Local authorities should make sure parents have access to the free childcare they are entitled to at the times they need it. They could do this by encouraging smaller providers to work together to cut costs and provide more flexibility, or by encouraging larger providers to enter the local market.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.