We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Childcare Entitlement

September 8, 2017 12:09 PM
By Stephen Lloyd MP

I've hit the ground running in Westminster this week on a number of national issues which also have a profound impact locally. One was the handing in of a Bill I co-sponsored on behalf of WASPi women.

The other was to do with the governments flagship new policy to provide 30 hours free childcare a week for children between the ages of 3 and 4. This is a good initiative and one I'm supportive of. I was concerned though to receive some representation from a number of child-minders over the summer who said that whilst they supported the programme, they had concerns about the levels of funding provided.

Essentially the Department of Education provide to the county council a pot of money per pupil which is then disbursed. However it appears the amount provided is simply not enough to cover a child-minders basic costs.

I raised this in the Chamber with the Minister and he committed to reviewing the funding. He also flagged that the county council should be levying only 7% in administrative fees, so this is something I will take up with County Hall in Lewes as soon as.

This is a good scheme which could be a game-changer for parents and their children - but we must make sure it is actually feasible in delivery.

We must ensure that our child-minders; highly qualified women (mostly) who are Ofsted checked, are adequately recompensed for the important job they do.

And let's be clear, they want to deliver the initiative properly but to do so they must be fairly paid otherwise they'll simply not be able to afford to offer the 30free hours a week to parents.

We must get this right folks; after all, it's our children's future we are talking about here......