Childcare | LocalGov

Early years roll-out will get ‘significantly more challenging’

24/04/2024

Just one in 10 councils are confident they can provide enough early years places to deliver the Government’s childcare expansion on time, a spending watchdog has warned.

Tax haven crackdown announced by childcare body

08/04/2024

The membership body for children’s homes has announced a change in its membership criteria to combat the use of tax havens by childcare providers.

Only a third of councils have enough childcare places

19/03/2024

Only a third of English councils are reporting sufficient childcare for parents working full-time, a new survey has revealed.

New £4.9m bonus scheme amid childcare expansion concerns

02/02/2024

The Government has launched a recruitment drive ahead of its free childcare expansion, but a major early years organisation has warned it will do little to boost staff numbers before rollout.

Councils raise alarm over free childcare offer

25/01/2024

Ahead of the roll-out of the expansion to free early education entitlements, councils have warned there may not be enough childcare places to meet demand.

Parents ‘set for disappointment’ over childcare expansion

08/01/2024

The Early Years Alliance has warned that while the Government’s offer of an extended childcare entitlement ‘may sound good in theory, the reality is likely to be very different’.

Wraparound childcare: what do parents want?

29/11/2023

Ellen Broomé, managing director of Coram Family and Childcare, shares what must be done to make sure families can access the provision they need.

LGA calls for Healthy Start uplift

13/11/2023

The value of the Healthy Start scheme should be increased by 20% to compensate for food inflation, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said.

Childcare expansion has ‘little to offer’ poorest families

26/09/2023

The free childcare expansion continues a trend of prioritising support for working parents rather than helping low-income families, financial experts warn.

Let renting childminders work from home, minister tells landlords

21/08/2023

Children and families minister Claire Coutinho has told developers and social landlords to allow childminders to work from rented properties.

Free childcare funding formula published

21/07/2023

The expansion of free childcare in England is set to be backed by ‘fair funding for all age groups’, the Government has announced.

First councils chosen to trial wraparound childcare

10/07/2023

The Government has selected 16 councils to begin the delivery of its wraparound childcare plans for parents of primary school aged children in England.

Childcare payments boosted by 47%

28/06/2023

Childcare payments to working families on universal credit are to increase from today by 47% in England, Scotland and Wales.

Universal Credit childcare payments to rise nearly 50%

31/05/2023

Parents on Universal Credit will be able to claim hundreds of pounds more to cover childcare costs from the end of June, the Government has announced.

Campaigners call for reform of pre-school childcare

26/05/2023

Campaigners are calling for a fundamental reform of the pre-school childcare system to make sure all children benefit.

Councils accused of holding back childcare funding

10/05/2023

Councils in England are holding back millions of pounds of funding meant for free childcare places, according to nursery leaders.

Increase UC childcare cost cap, council chiefs say

13/03/2023

Working parents should be helped with childcare costs by raising the cap on what they can claim back under Universal Credit, local government leaders say.

Chancellor to help cut the cost of childcare

13/03/2023

The Government will help cut the cost of childcare in Wednesday's budget as part of a drive to assist people into work, chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said.

Half of local areas report affordable childcare shortage

09/03/2023

Only half of local areas have sufficient childcare for children under two, a new survey published today has revealed.

Childcare pressures putting families ‘at risk’

31/01/2023

The cost-of-living crisis is forcing childcare providers to increase their prices and reduce their staff numbers, a new survey has revealed.

Childcare offer ‘complex, patchy and costly’, think tank says

22/09/2022

A think tank has called for a radical overhaul of childcare as research finds that the cost of childcare is forcing new parents to pay to return to work.

Scottish nurseries face financial ‘uncertainty’

12/08/2022

Nurseries across Scotland have urged councils to make a decision on the hourly rates they will pay to early learning and childcare providers.

Only a quarter of local authorities have enough holiday childcare this summer

19/07/2022

Just over a quarter (27%) of local authorities in England have enough holiday childcare available to meet the demand of parents working full-time in their area, new research has shown today.

Slash ‘red tape’ to reduce childcare costs, think tank says

16/05/2022

Government should reduce the amount of regulation governing childcare in order to reduce the economic impact of high childcare costs, think tank says.

Cost of nursery up £1,500

04/04/2022

The average family now spends nearly £1,500 more on a nursery place than five years ago, an analysis by Labour has revealed.

Survey reveals drop in the availability of childcare places

22/03/2022

An increasing number of local authorities are warning they do not have enough childcare places available, a new survey has revealed.

Report hits out at 'dysfunctional' early childhood care system

20/10/2021

Early education and childcare is a 'dysfunctional system' that needs a radical re-think, a report has concluded today.

MPs call for post-COVID recovery strategy for new parents

07/10/2021

MPs have called on Government to publish a COVID-19 recovery strategy for new parents which should include a fund to help councils arrange in-person visits.

Disadvantaged children ‘locked out’ of early years opportunities

19/08/2021

Research suggests Government’s policy of 30 hours of funded childcare for working parents has widened the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers.

Councils concerned about future of childcare

29/07/2021

Local support for children and families during the pandemic has been wide-ranging but there have also been notable local variations, new study reveals.

A third of councils report fall in holiday childcare places

20/07/2021

A third of all local authorities have reported a decrease in the number of holiday childcare places available in their area, according to a new survey.

Childcare crisis deepened by pandemic, study reveals

01/07/2021

The availability and affordability crisis in childcare is being exacerbated by the pandemic and subsequent childcare closures, warns a gender equality group.

Ministers 'knew early years was underfunded' argues charity

15/06/2021

The Government has been accused of knowingly under-funding local authorities on 'free childcare' places by the Early Years Alliance.

A third of councils see closure of childcare providers

09/03/2021

Over a third (35%) of local authorities in England have seen a rise in the number of childcare providers permanently closing down in the last year, according to an annual survey.

Councils urged to check 'free must mean free' on nursery places

28/01/2021

The ombudsman has urged councils to ensure nurseries in their areas really are providing free early years places.

Councils anticipate ‘permanent closure’ of childcare providers

22/12/2020

Over half of local authorities in England anticipate the permanent closure of childcare providers after COVID funding ends, a childcare charity has found.

Calls to invest £240m in early years provision

30/10/2020

A quarter of early years providers in the most deprived local authorities could close by Christmas without additional funding, a new survey has revealed.

Think tank calls for a 'family stimulus' boost

28/10/2020

A 'family stimulus' would help support hard-hit families through the pandemic, a new report has said.

Counties warn childcare closures will hit remote areas the hardest

25/09/2020

One in ten childcare providers in England’s most remote areas are at risk of closure this winter, county councils have warned today.

Informal childcare exempt from local lockdown rules

22/09/2020

Councils have welcomed the announcement that informal childcare and other caring arrangements will be exempt from local lockdown restrictions.

Early years’ workers ‘overworked and undervalued’, study reveals

05/08/2020

Low pay, a high workload and a lack of career development for early years’ workers risk impacting on the provision of care and education services for the under-fives, report says.

Call to 'supercharge' early years services

17/07/2020

Early years services are failing to target the children that most need support, a report has warned today.

Report warns childcare sector at risk of mass closure

25/06/2020

A quarter of early years providers warn they expect to close within the year due to the impact of coronavirus, a new survey has revealed.

Majority of childcare providers have fears over re-opening safely, survey reveals

29/05/2020

Only 13% of early years childcare providers are confident about opening their doors from next week, a new survey has revealed.

Councils given power to reallocate free childcare funding

24/04/2020

Councils have been given the freedom to move government funding for free childcare entitlements to meet demand during the coronavirus outbreak.

Disadvantaged children less likely to benefit from free childcare, auditors warn

13/03/2020

Disadvantaged families are less likely to take up free early education and childcare places, auditors have warned today.

Parents face ‘postcode lottery’ for expensive childcare, survey reveals

26/02/2020

Parents are paying 5% more for childcare for the under-twos than they were one year ago, according to an annual survey of childcare costs.

Tories promise cash boost for infrastructure and skills

25/11/2019

A Conservative Government would deliver record investments in infrastructure, childcare and skills, according to the party’s manifesto.

Councils receive free childcare funding boost

31/10/2019

Councils offering 15 hours free childcare for disadvantaged two-year-olds will receive an increase in their hourly funding, the Government has confirmed today.

Parents’ childcare bills set to double over summer

16/07/2019

Working parents could face a childcare bill of up to £800 during the summer holiday - more than double the cost of term time childcare, a children’s charity has warned.

London parents 'locked out' of work due to rising childcare costs

06/06/2019

Nearly two in three local authorities in London do not have enough childcare to meet the demand from parents of school-age children, new research has revealed.

More men needed in early years education, minister says

24/04/2019

The Government has launched a new project designed to encourage more men to work in early years education.

Northants apologises for underpaying childminders

08/03/2019

Northamptonshire County Council has apologised ‘unreservedly’ for underpaying childminders and nurseries by thousands of pounds.

Childcare funding ‘insufficient’, council chiefs warn

28/02/2019

Government funding for nursery school places often fails to cover the costs for those providing the care, local authority leaders have warned.

Early years workers ‘struggling financially'

17/01/2019

Childcare workers are struggling financially and many are forced to claim state benefits, an education think tank has found.

Parents support 30 hour childcare scheme despite underfunding

12/09/2018

Over 80% of surveyed parents said their children were better prepared to start school due to the 30 hours free childcare scheme, despite concerns over funding.

Parents ‘struggling’ with childcare costs, TUC warns

03/09/2018

Working parents with children under five have seen nursery fees increase three times faster than their wages over the past decade, trades unions have revealed.

Foster parents to receive free childcare

22/06/2018

Foster parents will have access to the government’s 30 hours free childcare offer for the first time from September.

Whitehall’s free childcare policy ‘crippling’ nurseries

20/06/2018

Nurseries are calling on the Government to ‘wake up’ as a new survey reveals the spiralling costs of their flagship free childcare policy.

Council websites making ‘progress’ in presentation about childcare on mobiles

18/05/2018

Local authority websites have shown ‘progress’ in the presentation of information and services on mobile devices about children's services, ICT body reveals.

Whitehall figures on childcare funding ‘misleading’, MPs say

26/03/2018

MPs have called on the Government to pay a higher hourly rate to local authorities for the 30-hours free childcare scheme.

Research highlights lack of male staff in council nurseries

15/03/2018

New figures have revealed that only 5% of staff in the Early Years sector are male, leading to calls to 'widen the talent pool'.

Price ‘surge’ undermines childcare policies

28/02/2018

A surge in the price of childcare is undermining the Government’s investment in support schemes to help people get access to childcare services, trust finds.

Campaigners warn council nurseries are not open long enough for working parents

20/02/2018

Nine out of ten council nurseries in Scotland are not providing cover for ‘normal’ working hours, new research has claimed today.

Cost of childcare has risen four times faster than wages, research finds

20/10/2017

The cost of childcare for the youngest children has risen four times faster than wages since 2008, according to the TUC.

Gov’s free childcare policy undermines social mobility, report says

28/09/2017

The Government’s free childcare policy could undermine social mobility by widening the gap in school readiness between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers, social mobility experts say.

Nursery staff facing pay cuts over free childcare rollout says think tank

04/09/2017

The Government’s new 30-hours free childcare scheme is so underfunded that nurseries would have to pay their staff below the minimum wage to make it work, according to new research.

Weekly cost of childcare has risen by over 50%, opposition says

26/07/2017

The Government is ‘failing working parents’, Labour says as analysis reveals the cost of childcare has risen dramatically since 2010.

Summer holiday brings nearly £3bn in childcare bills, report finds

20/07/2017

Parents are facing a nearly £3bn childcare bill this summer and will be forced to either pay or lose wages by taking time-off, research reveals.

Nurseries warn it's 'crunch time' for free childcare funding

30/06/2017

Nurseries will only a receive an ‘inadequate’ increase of 40p per hour in order to provide 30 hours of free childcare, new research has revealed.

Rise in business rates will threaten nurseries, warns committee

21/06/2017

A Scottish parliamentary committee will write to local authorities and the Scottish Government about pressure childcare organisations are facing over increased business rates.

Parties should adopt Childcare Passport plan, nurseries say

16/05/2017

Nurseries are calling on all of the major political parties to include in their manifestos a ‘radical’ new passport scheme to simplify childcare funding.

Whitehall’s 30 hours free childcare policy ‘in danger’ as nurseries opt out

18/04/2017

The Government's promise to provide parents with 30 free hours of childcare is in danger as daycare nurseries opt out leaving 50,000 children without places.

Whitehall’s free childcare policy to receive extra £55m boost

11/04/2017

The Government has unlocked £55m of investment as a boost to their flagship childcare scheme.

Thousands of nursery workers paid ‘illegal poverty wages’, study reveals

17/03/2017

One in 10 nursery workers are being paid below the minimum wage despite nurseries benefitting from Government subsidies, new analysis reveals.

Parents shut out of workplace by ‘crippling childcare costs’

02/03/2017

Parents are spending over £6,000 a year – double what families spend on food and drink annually – for a part-time nursery place, child care charity reports.

Free childcare could put quality at risk warn councils

08/02/2017

Councils have warned that the extension of free childcare could put quality and availability of services at risk, a new survey has revealed.

Whitehall should ‘abolish’ free childcare, think tank says

06/02/2017

The Government should abolish universal free childcare and directly target support at the most disadvantaged families, free-market think tank argues.

Families with disabled children ‘left in dark’ about childcare

26/01/2017

Families with disabled children are frequently ‘left in the dark’ when it comes to childcare due to a lack of information from local authorities, charity finds.

Government announces £50m grant to fund free childcare

10/01/2017

The education secretary today announced a £50m grant will be made available to support the delivery of the Government’s 30 hours free childcare offer.

Oxfordshire CC to waive children's centres' rents for one year

22/12/2016

Oxfordshire CC has agreed to waive the rents of children's centres run by community groups for up to a year if they face closure.

Government ‘complacent’ over child protection issues warn MPs

16/12/2016

The Government has been accused of being too slow to improve child protection services, a report from MPs has warned today.

New funding for free childcare falls ‘woefully short’

02/12/2016

Councils have welcomed proposals to increase hourly rate for providers delivering 15 hours of free childcare—but are concerned it will not be ‘sufficient’.

Quality of early years provision at risk due to reforms

28/09/2016

The quality of early years provision could be put at risk due to government funding reforms, new research has warned.

30 hours free childcare plans ‘doomed’ without proper funding

22/09/2016

Government plans to offer 30 hours free childcare ‘doomed’ without proper funding because nurseries would be forced to close down, warns school union.

Slough’s education support services to revert back to council

19/09/2016

Slough cabinet members will be asked today to agree to a recommendation to transfer the running of education support services and children’s centres back to the council.

Rotherham children’s homes close after Ofsted criticisms

13/09/2016

Two out of Rotherham’s three children’s homes will be closed after Ofsted raised concerns over the quality of care they provided.

Funding pressures cause childcare charity 4Children to close

05/09/2016

More than 200 staff are set to transfer over to local authorities and other care providers following the sudden closure of charity 4Children.

Local authorities ‘not doing enough’ to support parents of disabled children

25/08/2016

Councils should take a more flexible approach to childcare, charity says after it was revealed four out of five parents of children with complex needs struggled to access services over the summer holidays.

New funding formula for early childcare

11/08/2016

The Government has introduced a new funding system for nurseries, preschools and childminders in a bid to shore up its flagship 30-hour free childcare policy.

Councils providing patchy support to early years providers

11/08/2016

Councils do not have a consistent approach to funding early education, meaning many children are subject to poor quality services, a new report has found.

Children in care missing out on mentoring scheme

08/08/2016

Councils are failing to ensure children in care have access to a mentor, according to a new investigation.

Anglesey to invest to prevent children being taken into care

26/07/2016

Anglesey Council is to spend more than £500,000 to tackle the growing number of children being taken into care.

Parents anxious about extra costs during the holiday

25/07/2016

Nearly half of parents with young school children are worring about the extra costs of paying for childcare this summer holiday, new figures reveal.

Shortages in holiday childcare mean ‘high costs and limited choice’

20/07/2016

The majority of local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales say they do not have enough holiday childcare to meet demand.

Lack of providers for Whitehall’s flagship free childcare policy

15/06/2016

There may not be enough providers willing to supply the additional 15 hours of free childcare being promised by the Government in 2017, committee warns.

Nurseries abandon 30-hour free childcare pilot due to lack of funding

06/05/2016

Early years providers have pulled out of a pilot scheme for the Government's flagship 30-hour free childcare entitlement offer because of an ‘unacceptably low rate’ of funding.

Whitehall’s ‘blinkered’ nursery recruitment policy damaging to sector, campaigners say

26/04/2016

The new requirement for nursery staff to have good GCSEs in Maths and English is a ‘narrow-minded’ policy that will have a ‘catastrophic’ impact on recruitment, campaign warns.

Whitehall's childcare plans 'underfunded', charity warns

20/04/2016

The Government's 30-hour free entitlement offer is 'underfunded', an educational charity argues as survey reveals half of childcare providers fear it will result in closures.

Next London mayor should support working single parents

31/03/2016

The next mayor of London should help single parents by supporting measures designed to pay the deposits of nurseries and childminders, charity says.

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