Open-all-hours primary schools to bridge childcare gap

Primary
schools could remain open for 10 hours a day under radical new plans to solve
the UK’s childcare shortage.

Reports
suggest the Government is planning the new system to help job hunters and
employees with families get back into the workplace.

According
to the Mirror newspaper, the scheme would offer subsidised childcare for three
to 11-year-olds between 8am and 6pm at local primary schools.

The
scheme would allow parents to work regular office hours and could cost as much
as £3bn, with wealthier parents paying more than the less well off.

Across
the UK, there is only one childcare place for every five children, and those
that are available are the most expensive in Europe.

Childcare
vouchers are currently free from National Insurance and although Gordon Brown
gave them a £50 tax break in his pre-budget report, many parents are still
priced out of the system.

By Ross Wigham

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