Children: Day Care

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd July 2019.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to assist local authorities to increase the (a) provision and (b) affordability of childcare for disabled children in the school summer holidays.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Local authorities are required to secure sufficient childcare in their area, so far as is practicable, for working parents, or parents who are studying or training for employment, for children aged 0-14 (or up to 18 for disabled children).

Since 2011, all local authorities have a duty to provide a range of short breaks services for disabled children and their families. Responsibility for funding short breaks rests with local authorities. They are best placed and have the freedom to decide how to deliver services, target their resources and priorities, and be flexible to meet the local needs of disabled children and young people.

Tax-Free Childcare was introduced in 2017 to support families with the costs of childcare, for which 1.6 million families are eligible. For every £8 parents pay into an online account, the government pays £2 – up to a maximum contribution of £2,000 per child each year, for children aged up to 12. Parents of disabled children receive extra support (worth up to £4,000 per child, for each year and until their child is 17) which can be used to pay for childcare provision both during term time and in school holidays.

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