March 8, 2012 12:58 PM

Jenny Willott, Cardiff Central's Liberal Democrat MP, has used International Women's Day today to highlight the rising cost of childcare in Cardiff Central.

Statistics show that nurseries and childminders in the constituency now cost an average of £5,670 a year. The UK average cost of childcare has risen rapidly in recent years but still sits at £4,993 a year, almost 12% less than costs in the capital.

Costs in Cardiff Central also outstrip the rest of Wales by a huge 18.6%. Costs across Wales average at £4,618.

Commenting on the findings, Jenny Willott said that the Coalition Government in Westminster was already taking steps to help parents with the cost of childcare, but that more needs to be done in future.

Jenny said:

"Childcare is a huge concern for working families across the UK and particularly for women. Childcare providers in Cardiff Central do a fantastic job but, if we are to ensure that parents can return to work we must ensure they can afford the costs of childcare.

"The Coalition Government is already working hard to ensure that this is the case. We are going to increase the amount spent on Childcare Tax Credits by £300m to ensure that families receive help with childcare costs even if they are only working a few hours a week. We have also ensured that 3 and 4 year olds continue to get 15 hours of free early years' education and in England we have extended this to the most disadvantaged 2 year olds.

"As a working mother I know the importance of good quality, reliable and affordable childcare. I hope that the Government's actions help to reduce the cost of childcare, but it's clear that more needs to be done to give all the parents the chance to work if they want to."

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