Rishi Sunak under fire after he ‘quietly ditches’ ex-PM Liz Truss’s plans for childcare revolution with more free hours and looser child-staff ratios to free parents to return to work

  • Ex-PM Truss said cutting childcare costs was a priority for her government
  • Changes were to be announcement before Christmas if she had not quit 
  • Now plans for change have been pushed back indefinitely, amid political anger 

Rishi Sunak came under fire today for shelving changes to childcare designed to help parents back into work and boost the economy. 

Supporters of the Prime Minister’s predecessor Liz Truss lashed out after he apparently postponed her proposal to give parents up to 20 more hours of nursery time paid for by the taxpayer, and ease rules on group sizes.

They were among a slew of proposals outlined by Ms Truss during her 49-day premiership last year. She said cutting childcare costs was a priority for her government, with new measures earmarked for announcement before Christmas if she had remained in office. 

The provision of 15 to 30 hours free care for children between three and four years old is thought to be part of the review. 

But plans for reform of the system, which is seen as dysfunctional by all sides of the Commons, has reportedly been pushed back indefinitely. 

A No10 source told the Telegraph that early years care was ‘very important for the Prime Minister’.

But Labour today lashed out at the delay. Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said: ‘Accessible, affordable childcare is essential for children, for families, for our economy. But the Prime Minister doesn’t care. The Tories have given up on governing.’

Supporters of the Prime Minister’s predecessor Liz Truss lashed out after he apparently postponed her proposal to give parents up to 20 more hours of nursery time paid for by the taxpayer, and ease rules on group sizes.


They were among a slew of proposals outlined by Ms Truss during her 49-day premiership last year. Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said: ‘Accessible, affordable childcare is essential for children, for families, for our economy. But the Prime Minister doesn’t care.’

Data provided by Coram Family and Childcare which shows the average price of a full time nursery place for a child under two in 2022 by region, and how much this price has increased by since 2013 

Here MailOnline has presented data provided by Coram Family and Childcare which shows the average price of a part time nursery place for a child under two in 2022 by region, and how much this price has increased by since 2013

Labour last autumn unveiled plans to introduce breakfast clubs at every primary school in England paid for by bringing back the 45 per cent income tax band for the richest.

Ms Phillipson said the £365million system would help parents with childcare and allow them to help improved the UK economy as she tore into Tory handing of schools.

Before Christmas Mailonline laid bare how full time childcare costs have increased by up to 42 per cent over the last decade. 

We analysed data provided by Coram Family and Childcare, which studies nursery setting costs for children under two years old across the country between 2013 and l 2022. 

The figures showed a stark increase in costs over the last decade, at a time when parents are already grappling with rising mortgages, huge energy bills, petrol prices and food price inflation in an overwhelming cost of living crisis.  

A full time nursery place for a child under two in Great Britain has bumped up by 26.69 per cent between 2013 and 2022, going from £213 for a 50 hour week to £269.86. In England the average price was up 26.05 per cent, Scotland had an increase of 5.24 per cent and Wales saw a rise by 33.6 per cent.

The English region which has suffered the greatest rise in costs is the East of England, where the average full time weekly place cost £213.10 back in 2013 – but is now £303.61, a rise of 42.47 per cent. For Inner London the average price for a full time nursery place cost £266.50 in 2013 – now it’s £368.73, a rise of 38.36 per cent. 

A No10 source today said: ‘Childcare and the early years are very important for the Prime Minister.

‘He believes education is the closest we have to a silver bullet for making people’s lives better and he is working hard with ministers on improving childcare and early years provision for the benefit of children and parents.’

But Steve Brine, a former minister and chairman of the all parliamentary party group (appg) on childcare and early education said there was a ‘major structural problem with childcare in England’ that needed urgent attention. 

‘There should be a review of longterm childcare funding. The pressure on costs for childcare providers is forcing many of them out of business,’ he said.

‘Our message to ministers is talk to us and talk to the sector. It is not too late to pursue reforms but the situation is serious.’

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