Support the #Respect4SocialWork campaign today and celebrate the social work profession.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Call for councils to improve childcare provision for disadvantaged families

Call for councils to improve childcare provision for disadvantaged families.

Local authorities need to do more to ensure there is sufficient childcare provision for disadvantaged families in their area, a report by the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has concluded.

A CAB study of early years provision in 16 council areas of England found that childcare options for low-income families are often narrow, hard to access and of poor quality.

Its survey of 400 childcare providers in the spring of 2014 showed that 75 per cent did not offer evening or weekend care, four in 10 had no availability and 46 per cent did not provide government-funded free childcare.

CAB said the findings meant that parents who work shifts and outside normal office hours – often the most poorly paid jobs – find it hardest to secure childcare as well as access the 15 hours of free weekly care offered through the government scheme.

CAB called for councils to work with Jobcentre Plus to monitor local childcare provision to make sure it matches the needs of the local employment market, and to ensure that there are sufficient flexible childcare places available to meet demand.

The Practicalities of Childcare report states: “While some local authorities monitor demand and sufficiency of weekends and evenings and flexible childcare in their local area, it’s not done in a consistent or reliable way. It is also often not done in the context of the local employment market but simply on numbers of enquiries to Family Information Services about a specific type of provision.

“Without consistent monitoring showing demand for childcare, parents who want to work will be unable to do so because of insufficient childcare.”

In addition, providers with the most flexibility in allowing parents to vary their childcare arrangements tended to be those with a poorer Ofsted rating the report found, a factor that CAB said could “limit children’s development and perpetuate a cycle of disadvantage for children from low-income families”.

However, providers said funding arrangements dictated that it was only economical to offer provision at times when demand was at its peak. To help childcare providers broaden the range of options available to disadvantaged families it said local authorities should offer them more business support.

This could include encouraging the adoption of best practice models on payment arrangements to ensure this is not a barrier to families using childcare, it adds.


Story Courtesy of CYP

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

26 calls per day to helpline about CSE


There have been 26 contacts to the NSPCC helpline a day on average from people concerned about child sexual exploitation and abuse.

This reached a record high of 4,735 reports from people concerned that a child is or has been sexually exploited and/or abused, a 36% increase in the first six months of 2021/22 when [...]

Read Full Story

Expert children’s professionals who are expert bakers


The Great British Bake Off team has contacted WillisPalmer to see if we know any professionals working in the children’s services sector who fancy applying to appear on the show next year.

The Bake Off, which airs on Channel 4, is asking if you have got what it takes to bake in the tent as [...]

Read Full Story

Number of local authority-run children’s homes decreases


The number of children’s homes in the private and voluntary sector has increased, while the number of local-authority run residential homes for children has decreased, the latest statistics reveal.

Ofsted’s report showed that between 1 April and 31 August 2021, there was a net increase of 69 homes representing a 3% increase from 2,707 to [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us
WP Quality Assured

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram