Category Archives: UKIP and childcare

UKIP and Sex Education

We support age-appropriate sex and relationship education at secondary level, but not for primary school children.

There is a world of difference between teaching young children about online safety or telling them no one else is allowed to touch the private parts of their body, which is a sensible way to help prevent and encourage reporting of abuse and going into too much detail. The latter risks sexualising childhood, causing confusion and anxiety, and encouraging experimentation.

We will also rule that all parents must be made fully aware of the sex education teaching materials being used, before their children see it, and we will continue to respect their right to withdraw children from sex-education classes if they wish.

Childcare for school-age children

For parents of school-age children, extending the school day by offering wrap-around childcare will offer enormous benefits to working parents, for whom it is likely to be by far the most sensible and convenient childcare option.

We will place a statutory duty on all primary schools to offer before and after-school care from 8am to 6pm during term time, with the option to extend this to all-day provision throughout the school holidays.

Sessions will include breakfast and healthy snacks. Sadly, anecdotal evidence suggests significant numbers of teachers are seeing pupils arrive at school hungry.

Schools can choose how they facilitate before and afterschool care. They can provide it themselves; partner with external childcare providers; or allow parents to club together. There will be no cost to the school, as parents will pay for the cost of childcare themselves or use the voucher scheme.

UKIP and childcare

Good childcare benefits parents, helps child development and supports our economy. UKIP’s vision for childcare is a system where parents, teachers, schools, nurseries, children’s centres, local authorities, childcare providers and businesses all work together to make provision as affordable, flexible, available and as high-quality as possible.

The policies of current and previous governments have been counterproductive in many ways: over-regulation has helped create an acute shortage of places and voucher systems have contributed to pushing up the cost of childcare.

UK childcare costs are now the most expensive in Europe, and among the highest in the world. Costs can be crippling for ordinary families. What is the point of having a childcare system that is so expensive it does not pay to work?

Children from socially deprived backgrounds are adversely affected because their applications for places are most likely to be turned down, especially if parents are unable to pay for ‘top-ups’ such as meals, nappies and so on.

Childcare provision is also complex and fragmented. Several government departments oversee different schemes providing help with childcare costs. Parents may struggle to work out which type of childcare funding system will work best for them. Those on modest incomes who work hard may find they ‘fall through the gaps.’ Parents who are self-employed, agency workers, those on zero-hours contracts or commission are most likely to be affected, as any rise in income may prove punitive, depending on which childcare support scheme has been chosen.

A simpler system, more responsive to families’ changing needs and with integrated sources of funding, must be initiated at the earliest opportunity, alongside proposals to reduce the cost of childcare and increase the number of childcare places, while giving parents more choice.

We will initiate a full review of childcare provision.