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Peaky Blinders star Charlotte Riley is spearheading a campaign for every film and TV production to allocate budget for childcare and for the industry to prioritise accessible support for working parents.

Riley and business partner Mark Radcliffe, who founded the UK’s first dedicated childcare facility in a film studio – Warner Bros in Leavesden – have penned an open letter to the industry with the accompanying Twitter hashtag #keepfamiliesinfilm

The letter calls for more support in overturning a situation in which people in the industry have to decide between staying in their dream job or starting a family – such as nurseries on major productions and assistance with childcare provisions on smaller ones.

It argues that a lack of universal flexible and accessible childcare is harming efforts to achieve diversity and equality in the industry.

“We are calling on industry leaders to not only acknowledge that a lack of high-quality, flexible childcare is creating a barrier, but that action needs to be taken by industry decision makers to bring about change,” the letter states.

The letter follows a study by campaigning roup Raising Films that found a pattern of burnout among parents who work as freelancers.

Mobile nursery

Riley and Radcliffe’s company The Wonderworks has built on its work at Leavesden this year with the launch of a mobile nursery for produtions shooting on location. Their converted double-decker bus delivers Ofsted-registered childcare for up to 20 children aged up to 11.

Designed by the team behind Channel 4 series George’s Amazing Spaces, it provides up to 12 hours care a day as standard, including meals cooked on site and a garden space.

The Wonderworks is backed by Warner Bros and Raising Films as well as BFI,  Bafta, The Film and TV Charity, and Time’s Up.

Riley, who has also starred in BBC1’s A Christmas Carol and FX drama Trust, has two children with her husband, actor Tom Hardy. Radcliffe has a daughter with his partner.

Read and sign the open letter here


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