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Ken Livingstone promised to provide childcare fund for London

By Look Right Subscribe to RSS | March 15th 2012 | Views:

Other mayoral candidates like Boris Johnson, Brian Paddick and Jenny Jones tried to show loopholes in this plan. Ken Livingstone, the Labor’s London mayoral candidate, said that he would provide low income families coming back to work a complete grant for the upfront costs of childcare up to £700. Interest-free loans to families earning less than £400,000 would also be offered. According to current mayor and Tory candidate Boris Johnson, a similar scheme was scrapped because of lack of interest set up by Mr. Livingstone when he was mayor. Mr. Livingstone added that funding would be provided by him for creating more out-of-hours childcare places at 200 nurseries across London.

Last month, a London Assembly report was published which said that many parents in the capital could be prevented from work due to the high costs of childcare. In London, the average cost of childcare is £119-per-week for a child whose age is below two. It is third highest from anywhere else in UK, according to the report. According to Mr. Livingstone, in London, families are facing the childcare crisis, and mayor has the duty to address it. He added that this is not only in the interests of millions of families across the capital of UK, but it is also in the economic interest of London. As per the claim of Mr. Livingstone, the cost of the scheme would be about £3.4m a year and it would be funded via uncommitted contingency money in the budget of Greater London Authority.

But, Mr. Johnson’s view was that the Childcare Affordability Programme which was set up by the last mayor was failed and was terminated when it was discovered that less than 20% of original target was delivered. The target was to get 2,000 low income parents back into work. The mayoral candidate of The Liberal Democrat, Brian Paddick said that his party in the central government coalition was providing free childcare for those who needed it most. He said that why should they give people handouts to pay if it can be made free. Apply with doorstep loans @ and cash at your footsteps.

Jenny Jones, the Green Party mayoral candidate said that Ken is right in highlighting that childcare is a growing problem in London, but more comprehensive approach is required by the families in the capital then just papering over cracks with occasional grants. She added that the next mayor must prevent the closure of breakfast clubs and should work with schools for extending their opening hours. In London, the mayoral elections will be held on 3rd May.

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