STAFF and parents at a nursery in Hammersmith shared their views with George Osborne on plans to introduce a tax free childcare scheme.
Busy Bees Nursery in Bute Gardens welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Monday (5) as parents spoke to him about proposals for a £1 billion scheme to make quality childcare more affordable for the 2.5 million working families across the UK.
His visit to the nursery was part of the childcare voucher changes consultation launch where Mr Osborne wanted to meet working parents to discuss the problems they face trying to balance work and family life as well as coping with the cost of quality childcare.
The Chancellor had a tour of the nursery and engaged in some creative time with the children, after which he congratulated the staff on the exceptional level of care they deliver and promised to consider all the points raised throughout the day.
Shirley Ballin, nursery manager, said: “We were really pleased that the Chancellor wanted to come to our nursery and that our parents
were able to share their experiences and concerns with him. Parents present who were part of a two-parent working family were able to appreciate the benefits and welcomed the changes.
"However, some were concerned about what would happen if one or other were to lose their jobs, as the new scheme is only for those families with two working parents.
"The Chancellor seemed genuinely interested in the points raised and we hope that our contribution will be taken into account.”
John Woodward, CEO of the Busy Bees group, said: “In our opinion the childcare voucher system is an effective way of helping working parents save money, which is why Busy Bees founded it in the first place way back in 1997. However, raising the cap on childcare vouchers (as our ongoing campaign ‘Mind the Gap – Raise the Cap’ hopes to do) would mean a considerable financial benefit for our working families.”
The proposed changes to the childcare voucher scheme would be phased in by 2015 if it gets the go ahead from the Government.