William Eichler 27 January 2016

Government must focus more on early years childcare, charity argues

Government must focus more on early years childcare, charity argues image

The Government should make improving the quality of childcare and support for low-income families its top priority, says new report.

A new study by the Family and Childcare Trust, entitled Creating an anti-poverty childcare system, argues that better targeted investment and streamlined childcare funding would improve outcomes for children from poor backgrounds.

Evidence shows, it says, that only high quality childcare improves outcomes for children from deprived backgrounds.

Currently, however, half of the most disadvantaged two-year-olds do not receive their free entitlement in a setting led by an early years graduate.

The report, which was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, also claims families in the least affluent areas are less likely to have access to year-round, flexible daycare, limiting opportunities for parents to work or access education and training.

It also argues that the complicated system of support with childcare costs is difficult to navigate for parents, does not adequately support them in training or education, and offers poor work incentives for those with low incomes.

In order to deliver an ‘anti-poverty’ childcare system, the Family and Childcare Trust says, a number of changes need to be put in place.

There should be a move towards the formation of a more qualified early years workforce, paid in line with staff in schools who currently earn up to 68% more.

There also needs to be an investment in local services to deliver an entitlement to flexible daycare from the age of one, extending across a full working day and for 48 weeks of the year.

Finally, the report urges that more state subsidies be directed at service providers, as this is the most effective way to deliver access to high quality childcare, regardless of parents’ ability to pay.

Julia Margo, chief executive at the Family and Childcare Trust said: ‘Our ambitious proposal for a simplified funding system could tackle many of the barriers low income families experience when they try to access childcare and help them move into work.

‘Evidence shows that sufficient funding for a high quality childcare system brings fiscal benefits in the longer term – through children’s attainment, increased maternal employment, higher tax intake and lower welfare payments.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Assistant to the Leader

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£33324 - £35751 per annum + n/a
Communities, Environment and CentralCorporate Governance & Democratic ServicesSenior Assistant to the Leader, Leader's Office PO1 (£33,324- £35,751) T England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Early Support Consultant

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£31,346 - £33,782
We are looking to hire candidates with experience of Whole Family Working and the Supporting Families program to join us as... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Governance Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£23,080 - £24,491
As a Governance Officer, you will work as part of the Homes and Neighbourhoods team that... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Head of Finance and Customer Services (S151)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Salary to £67k (plus £3k car allowance)
As a large and successful district council, North West Leicestershire has every reason to be confident about the future. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Community Co-Ordination Manager

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£37,890 - £39,880
Do you want to be a part of a high performing team, developing creative projects that benefit the community? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue