Government funding of childcare

Meeting: 
MQT on 2009-02-25
Session date: 
February 25, 2009
Reference: 
2009/0310
Question By: 
Dee Doocey
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

The Government is increasing the amount of 'free' childcare available to 3 and 4 year olds from 12.5 hours per week to 15 hours per week. Many small independent nurseries who provide excellent facilities, believe they will no longer be able to survive, as the government's contribution for this 'free' childcare does not even come close to covering their costs. What are you doing to support these businesses?

Answer

Answer for Government funding of childcare

Answer for Government funding of childcare

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Access to good quality and affordable childcare is both a critical barrier to work for parents and central to children's development and tackling child poverty.

Local authorities have a duty to secure sufficient early years provision under the 2006 Code of Practice. From September 2010 they must offer 15 hours of free early education to all 3 & 4 year olds over a minimum of 38 weeks. As a step towards that, from September 2009 local authorities will be required to make the offer available to 25% of their most disadvantaged 3 & 4 year olds. Additional funding for this will come through the DCSF Standards Fund, with extra capital available too.

However, the LDA has, jointly with the DSCF, invested £36m over the last 3 years in its Childcare Affordability Programme (CAP). This is currently supporting over 8,000 parents to find and stay in work. We are currently developing the next phase of CAP, which will test new and innovative ways of supporting Local Authorities and providers to offer the flexible and affordable childcare that London's parents and children need.

I will ensure that the impact of this programme is effectively monitored and that is supports the best provision as shown by demand from parents and that the LDA's Youth and Childcare team monitor the concerns regarding the early education grant funding.