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30 hours free childcare for working families with three and...

Ian Thomas, Chair of the ADCS Resources and Sustainability Policy Committee, said:

“We know that the greatest opportunities to make a real and tangible difference to a child’s life occur when they are very young, between 0-5. Early years policy has been a focus for all recent governments, with the twin objectives of giving all children a better start in life whilst also supporting and increasing the number of working families, this is to be welcomed. Above all else, improving the life chances of children must be at the heart of any early years policy – we mustn’t lose sight of this. Local authorities have been working closely with providers to deliver 30-hours free childcare for working families with three and four-year olds which is essentially a universal offer, only a parent earning over £100,000 (and couples earning £200,000) would not be eligible. This is at odds with the government’s drive to improve social mobility at a time when many families are struggling to pay their rent, heat their homes and feed their families. ADCS believes help with childcare should be targeted on the most vulnerable children and families and that available funding must be spent on those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Current levels of funding are such that some providers cannot afford to offer 30 hours of free childcare, with others forced to ask parents to pay for meals, nappies and trips to meet shortfalls. Reducing the income threshold would helpfully narrow the policy to focus on the most disadvantaged children and families and ensure that in times of austerity we are using our limited resources on those most in need.”


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