Harriet Harman

Labour Member of Parliament for Camberwell & Peckham

Visit to Camberwell After School Project - 04/08/2011

This morning I visited Camberwell After School Project (CASP) with the Mayor of Southwark Cllr Lorraine Lauder.  I spoke with the centre's Chief Executive, Carmen Lindsey, as well as children who attend CASP.  The children told me about their recent trip to a local zoo.

In Southwark 20,000 children live in families with parents who go out to work every day, so it is crucial that good childcare and activities for older children are available over the summer holiday.

It's especially important for lone parents who are working. Just because it's the school summer holidays it doesn't mean you can stop working. School summer holidays are up to six weeks long and most parents only get five weeks holiday for the whole year.

But, as the Tory-led Government's deep cuts are beginning to bite, councils are finding it harder and harder to provide the childcare that hardworking families rely on during school holidays.

The Government's actions have meant less financial support for childcare, rising costs and less availability. And their deep cuts to Sure Start and Working Tax Credits are making life even more difficult for families.

Unlike the Tories, who only last week floated the idea of abolishing maternity leave, Labour will always help hard-working parents.

That is why we are calling on the Tory-led Government to think again about their attack on the services families rely on. They must ensure there is sufficient, affordable childcare available for families who need it

David Cameron promised his Government would be the ‘most family friendly ever'. That is just one more broken promise from this Government and families are paying the price.

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