Jennifer Liston-Smith, Bright Horizons: Amanda Weekes, Surrey University; Victoria Cottee, Bright Horizons; Sarah Ronan, WBG
As Jeremy Hunt put it in his Spring Budget announcement, “for many women, a career break becomes a career end”. Childcare was recognised as part of the infrastructure for new developments in December 2022. Now in Spring 2023, it has been recognised as a major key to workforce participation and economic growth.
Employers were already addressing childcare as part of cost of living support and as a core talent retention strategy. What is the role of employers in light of the new funding arrangements? The full 30 hours provision from the age of 9 months will not be in place until September 2025, will only cover 38 weeks a year, and places may be in short supply. However, the Budget focus has created a huge appetite for working parents to access this much-needed career support for themselves and early years education for their children.
Join this lively conversation, as we discuss:
• What will the new funded childcare places mean in practice for employers and employees?
• Given the timeline, and also the potential squeeze on nursery places in the future, what can employers do now and next to ensure their people have access to the best provision?
• What else should employers be doing to ensure working parents can succeed and progress at work while also being who they want to be in family life.