The ‘Playnet’ Programme

Closing remarks

Childcare is not an issue for many parents on the continent. That is because its value has long been recognised by their governments. It is as much part of their welfare state as the NHS is to the UK. I want that for this country.

We should not be crossing our fingers and hoping that someone is suitably motivated and time-rich to set about organising a playgroup. The Government and local authorities should step in to organise a network of these groups across the UK.

It is unlikely to be an attractive proposition for the private sector given the hourly rates that will be charged to parents. Charging anything more will exasperate the poverty trap for many households. It is beholden on the state to step up.

We need a triple alliance of government, parents and the older generation to provide a national daycare infrastructure that will rival that enjoyed by the Scandinavians and take the hassle out of childcare in this country.

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