Coventry City Council is planning to end daycare services at children’s centres across the city as reported in the Coventry Telegraph this week.
Save Coventry Children’s Centres are asking that parents, friends and families contact their MP and local councillor to state the case not just for the current day care provision to remain but to expand the provision of day care so that all parents can have high quality affordable childcare. see below for a letter template. You can find your MP here
Dear [name of MP and or Councillor]
I am writing in support of the Coventry Save Our Children’s Centres campaign organised by parents across the city whose children currently attend the nurseries. As a citizen of Coventry I am concerned about the current review of and threat to day care provision and the other services that form part of the Sure Start programme across our city. I believe that childcare should be a national issue not a private problem and that all parents deserve high quality childcare at affordable prices.
I urge you to oppose proposals that seek to reduce, scrap or introduce private, volunteer or independent (PVIs) providers in place of those already run by the council. Further I urge you to scrap ideas to target services only to the most disadvantaged families. My reasons are as follows
- The foundational ethos of Sure Start is one of social inclusion, only providing services to the most disadvantaged and taking away day care from working parents promotes social exclusion.
- Segregated nursery care does not help the most disadvantaged – mixed ability settings is proven to benefit ALL children and parents.
- PVIs provide these services more cheaply but are acknowledged by the Councils own review to be of a poorer quality.
- PVIs main cost cutting comes by employing less qualified staff and paying over 70% of them the minimum wage
Reduction of day care provision through Children’s Centres is not the only solution to budget deficit; the current situation simply means that we are not operating with the best possible business model. Coventry City Council could become a leading light in the provision of childcare and shine the way nationally if it chose to, but we need political will to make this happen. There are other solutions; I refuse to believe that the intellectual capacity of the Council cannot come up with a better solution than the one of defeatist cuts. Let’s get a better business model and provide excellent childcare for all parents that want it. The infrastructure already exists; lets expand not cut; let’s introduce progressive payment schemes based on ability to pay and competitive charges for nurseries in Children’s Centres and let us put children and hard working nursery workers before profits. This is a Labour Council, we know that through social justice and innovation we can think beyond the cuts and lead the way in a national dialogue on childcare provision. We can make childcare provision pay in this city. Please, think beyond the cuts.