Pre-school Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 13th September 2017.

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Photo of Tracy Brabin Tracy Brabin Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to her oral contribution of 6 September 2017, Official Report, column 166, how she plans to ensure that nursery providers offer places to meet the working patterns of parents.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Minister of State (Department for Education)

We are committed to ensuring that all families have access to high quality, flexible and affordable childcare that meets the needs of working parents and supports the best outcomes for children. Extending the hours over which funded provision can be delivered, from 7.00am to 7.00pm to 6.00am to 8.00pm, means that providers can offer the 30 hours entitlement more flexibly.

Our early delivery areas have developed and tested innovative, flexible childcare approaches to support working families. In the early implementation evaluation survey, over three-quarters (78%) of parents reported that they had greater flexibility in their working life as a result of the 30 hours entitlement. Case studies showed that increased work flexibility helped parents to obtain more secure employment, enhanced career opportunities and improved their work-life balance. These approaches have been shared widely with all providers and local authorities.

We have also published practical, hands-on guidance for providers who want to work in partnership to deliver the entitlement, so that individual providers that cannot meet parents’ needs on their own can work effectively with others in order to do so.

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