Leaders of York’s childcare sector have today met Children and Families Minister Robert Goodwill MP.
City of York Council chaired a round tab discussion that included councillors, local authority officers and providers from both York and North Yorkshire in advance of the national roll out of the 30 hours additional hours programme in September 2017.
The meeting at the council’s West Offices discussed the early implementer programme offering eligible parents 30 hours childcare, as an independent evaluation of the programme’s trial was published by the government today.
As one of eight early implementers of the programme, City of York Council has been sharing learning with North Yorkshire County Council – one of the next four councils to launch the offer to working parents of three and four-year-olds – and eight other local authorities in preparation for the national roll out in September 2017.
The Minister expressed his appreciation and admiration of the way in which together, the council and local providers have exceeded the city’s target to provide a high quality programme with tangible benefits to parents. Private providers also spoke about the welcome support they have had from the council.
Feedback from parents included one mother who found the additional childcare hours had given her to time to start up her own business, others – including armed forces families – found it gave them valuable additional support and others felt it made working more manageable and affordable.
This summer, the Council is expecting that 1,730 children will benefit from additional hours. York is the first council to include out of school clubs in the programme to give parents additional flexibility.