Child Care Strategy

MQT on 2007-05-23
Session date: 
May 23, 2007
Question By: 
Bob Blackman
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What is the total cost of funding the LDA Childcare places across London? How many places were offered? How many places have been taken up?


Answer for Child Care Strategy

Answer for Child Care Strategy

Answered By: 
The Mayor

·There are two phases of the Childcare Affordability Programme (CAP). CAP is a three year pilot programme 2005-2008. The LDA committed £22m and SureStart (DfES) £11m over the three years. ·Under Phase 1, London boroughs were invited on three occasions to seek applications from childcare providers in their area. ·Boroughs were invited to seek applications for (1) subsidy to enable providers to provide full daycare places at prices no higher than £175 a week, the upper eligible cost limit for support through the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit and (2) subsidy to enable providers to convert existing full daycare places to more flexible care ·Boroughs were later invited to submit applications to deliver innovative pilots addressing more specific issues under Phase 2 of the programme. ·Providers in all boroughs have been awarded funding under the scheme.Figures at quarter 4 (31 March 2007);Table 1 (attached as Appendix H) shows, for phase 1 of CAP, the total number of places offered in each round and the percentage of places occupied as of 31 March 2007. The bottom row shows gives data for all places offered. These figures should be read in the light of the explanatory notes below. A further 1,055 places have been offered under phase 2 of the programme in 16 London boroughs. Explanatory notes for table 1:Places offered ·Under Phase 1 of the programme, 1,908 subsidised full day care places were offered. ·CAP subsidy for flexible care is awarded on the basis of the number of full daycare places converted to flexible care. Many full daycare places converted to flexible care potentially offer more than one flexible place, as more than one family could benefit if, for example, a full daycare place was converted into two part-time places. We have reported both the number of places converted and the number of places offered. ·3,601 existing full daycare places had been converted to flexible care as of 31 March 2007. This correponded to a total of 6,242 potential flexible places. ·Taking full daycare and flexible places together, a total of 8,150 places were offered by 457 providers under Phase 1 if the programme as of 31 March 2007. ·A further 1,055 places were offered under Phase 2 of the programme in 16 boroughs. ·The total number of Phase 1 and Phase 2 childcare places offered as at 31 March 2007 was therefore 9205.Occupancy ·As of 31 March 2007 417 subsidised full daycare places were occupied, 22% of places offered. ·As of 31 March, of the 3,601 places converted to flexible care, 1,484 were occupied (41%). Of the 6,242 flexible places offered, 1,982 were occupied, (32%). ·There were thus 2,399 families benefiting from Phase 1 CAP subsidised places, an overall occupancy rate of 29%. ·These figures include the third round of CAP, which only began to offer places in January 2007. This tends to bias occupancy figures downwards, particularly for flexible care, as can be seen by comparing the figures for rounds 1,2 and 3 given in table 1. ·The low occupancy rates for subsidised full daycare, coupled with declining interest from providers in offering this type of care, may indicate that there is relatively little demand for this option from parents. ·For flexible care, demand seems to be stronger, but there are unexplained differences in occupancy rates between boroughs, with occupancy ranging from 0% to 64% of places offered. Tables 2 and 3 give the figures by borough. ·Support measures are underway with boroughs with low occupancy including: ·A Pan London advertising campaign ·Workshops ·Website and dedicated helpline ·Targeted support to underperforming boroughs and providers ·Promotional DVD