Co-operative childcare at forefront of Stephen Twigg’s review


Shadow Education Secretary and Co-operative MP Stephen Twigg has outlined to the Observer that co-operatives are at the forefront of his review of childcare policy.

The Observer reported yesterday that the cost of childcare is soaring and that working full-time is now ‘hardly worthwhile’ financially.

Labour is considering “co-operative childcare”, in which parents could ‘take a stake in the nurseries they use and take a share of the profits, reducing childcare costs by about £150 a year’. This of course reflects the work of existing childcare co-ops, such as the one visited by Ed Miliband in Edinburgh earlier this year, and the nationwide organisation The Co-operative Childcare, part of Midcounties Co-operative Society.

Stephen Twigg told the newspaper: “We want to explore co-operative models, whereby local parents have a far bigger say in running their local nursery and get a share of the profits. Childcare centres are run successfully along these lines in Sweden and in some parts of the UK already. We want to see this model expand. Co-operative childcare can reduce costs to parents, provide flexibility for those who work and can reach communities that don’t have enough nurseries.”