Childcare: Worsley and Eccles South

Department for Education written question – answered at on 19 October 2023.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Barbara Keeley Barbara Keeley Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office), Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 September 2023 to Question 198639 on Childcare, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that there are an adequate number of (a) trained staff, (b) safe premises and (c) registered places to offer all eligible children access to 30 hours a week of free childcare for 38 weeks each year in Worsley and Eccles South constituency.

Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Shadow Secretary of State for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 September 2023 to Question 198639 on Childcare, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure the adequacy of (a) trained staff, (b) safe premises and (c) registered places in Houghton & Sunderland South constituency by the start of September 2025 to offer eligible children aged nine months and above to access 30 hours a week of free childcare for 38 weeks each year until the end of the term before they start at primary school.

Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Shadow Secretary of State for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 September 2023 to Question 198639 on Childcare, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure the adequacy of (a) trained staff, (b) safe premises and (c) registered places in the area covered by the Redcar constituency by the start of September 205 to offer eligible children aged nine months and above to access 30 hours a week of free childcare for 38 weeks each year until the end of the term before they start at primary school.

Photo of Bill Esterson Bill Esterson Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 September 2023 to Question 198639 on Childcare, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure the adequacy of (a) trained staff, (b) safe premises and (c) registered places in Sefton Central constituency by the start of September 2025 to offer eligible children aged nine months and above to access 30 hours a week of free childcare for 38 weeks each year until the end of the term before they start at primary school.

Photo of Christian Wakeford Christian Wakeford Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 September 2023 to Question 198639 on Childcare, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure the adequacy of (a) trained staff, (b) safe premises and (c) registered places in Bury South constituency by the start of September 2025 to offer eligible children aged nine months and above access to 30 hours a week of free childcare for 38 weeks each year until the end of the term before they start primary school.

Photo of Christian Wakeford Christian Wakeford Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 September 2023 to Question 198639 on Childcare, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure the adequacy of (a) trained staff, (b) safe premises and (c) registered places in Bury North constituency by the start of September 2025 to offer eligible children aged nine months and above access to 30 hours a week of free childcare for 38 weeks each year until the end of the term before they start primary school.

Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Shadow Minister (Clean Power and Consumers)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 September 2023 to Question 198639 on Childcare, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure the adequacy of (a) trained staff, (b) safe premises and (c) registered places in Manchester Withington constituency by the start of September 2025 to offer eligible children aged nine months and above to access 30 hours a week of free childcare for 38 weeks each year until the end of the term before they start at primary school.

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Labour, Blaydon

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 September 2023 to Question 198639 on Childcare, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure the adequacy of (a) trained staff, (b) safe premises and (c) registered places in Blaydon constituency by the start of September 2025 to offer eligible children aged nine months and above to access 30 hours a week of free childcare for 38 weeks each year until the end of the term before they start at primary school.

Photo of David Johnston David Johnston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Having enough staff in place to deliver high-quality education and care will be key to ensuring the successful delivery of our record expansion of early years entitlements. Driving up interest in early years careers and ensuring there are enough opportunities for career development is a priority for this government.

In the government’s Spring Budget 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, this Government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The department is developing a range of new workforce initiatives including the launch of a new national campaign, planned for the beginning of 2024, to boost interest in the sector and support the recruitment and retention of talented staff. To increase interest in early years, we are working to remove unnecessary barriers to entering the sector as well as considering how to make early years qualifications more accessible, coordinated and relevant.

Over the summer the department launched a competition for Early Years Skills Bootcamps with a pathway to an accelerated level 3 Early Years Educator apprenticeship, and we will consider degree apprenticeship routes so everyone from junior staff to senior leaders can easily move into or indeed enhance their career in the sector. We are also working across government to boost early years career awareness by collaborating with the Department for Work and Pensions and Careers & Enterprise Company to promote the importance and value of a career in early years.

Regarding safe premises, with a growing number of staff joining the sector, the safety of our youngest children remains as important as ever. All new and existing early years providers must keep children safe and promote their welfare. The Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework sets the standards that all early years providers in England must meet to ensure that children are kept healthy and safe. More information can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1170108/EYFS_framework_from_September_2023.pdf.

Under these requirements, all owners and managers of childcare settings have a responsibility to ensure that their premises, including overall floor space and outdoor spaces, are fit for purpose and suitable for the age of children cared for and the activities provided on the premises. All providers must also comply with the requirements of health and safety legislation, including fire safety and hygiene requirements. At all times when children are present, at least one person who has a current paediatric first aid certificate must be on the premises.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. Part B of the Early education and childcare statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities should report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-education-and-childcare--2.

The Department has regular contact with each local authority in England about their sufficiency of childcare and any issues they are facing. Where local authorities report sufficiency challenges, we discuss what action the local authority is taking to address those issues and where needed support the local authority with any specific requirements through our childcare sufficiency support contract.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No2 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.