Agenda item - Childcare Sufficiency Assessment

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Agenda item

Childcare Sufficiency Assessment

Report of the Executive Director, Families, Children & Learning (copy attached)

 

Contact Officer: Vicky Jenkins                   Tel: 01273 296110

 

Ward(s) Affected: All Wards

 

 

Decision:

That the Committee noted –

 

1. The Childcare Sufficiency Assessment

2. That work continues to prepare for the new entitlement to 30 hours free childcare for working parents of three and four year olds from September 2017 and noted the additional administration this will necessitate by the local authority.

3. That parents, and particularly those facing disadvantage including low income families, continue to be supported, in particular by the Family Information Service, to take up their current and future statutory entitlements in relation to childcare provision and paying for childcare.

4. That work continues to implement the new national funding formula for the early years free entitlement for two, three and four year olds which maximises the funding passed on to providers from the early years block of the Designated Schools Grant.

5. That the CSA will be used to inform the development of an early years strategy for the city, to include access to high quality childcare, particularly for disadvantaged children.

 

Minutes:

50.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families, Children & Learning which informed the Committee about Childcare Sufficiency in Brighton and Hove, parent’s views on childcare in the city and national policy developments regarding childcare. The report was introduced by the Childcare Strategy Manager.

 

50.2    Councillor Horan asked how many hours a week a parent would have to work to be entitled to free childcare. The Childcare Strategy Manager said that it would 16 hours a week on minimum wage or national living wage.

 

50.3    Councillor Phillips noted that one of the biggest challenges would be to ensure that there were sufficient places available. The Childcare Strategy Manager agreed and said that work was being undertaken with providers to ensure that there would be adequate provision.

 

50.4    Councillor Russell-Moyle noted that satisfaction with Early Years provision was very high, but that dropped slightly as children got older. The Childcare Strategy Manager agreed and said that whilst satisfaction was still high for older children, and reduction could be attributable to reduced options as young people were restricted to attending that provided by or at their school. Councillor Russell-Moyle said that the cost of Child Care Provision was already high,. The Childcare Strategy Manager said that under the new Early Years National Funding Formula from April 2017 Brighton & Hove would be receiving an additional 4p per hour to fund providers to offer the early years free entitlement to three and four year olds

 

50.5    Mr Jones noted the respondent’s responses to religion and noted that the percentages given didn’t add up to 100%. He was advised that was because not everyone chose to answer that question.

 

50.6    Councillor Wealls noted that one of the suggested actions was to ‘maximise the funding for the Early Years Free Entitlement’, and asked why that wouldn’t be done. He was advised that the Authority could retain 7% of the funding in 2017/18; this year it had taken 4.5%,

 

50.7    Councillor Penn suggested that it may be difficult for parents of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) to find suitable providers. The Childcare Strategy Manager said that there was a good take up in the city for SEN children, but work was being undertaken alongside Amaze to ensure there was sufficient provision for the 30 hours free childcare offer.

 

50.8    RESOLVED: That the Committee noted –

 

1. The Childcare Sufficiency Assessment

2. That work continues to prepare for the new entitlement to 30 hours free childcare for working parents of three and four year olds from September 2017 and noted the additional administration this will necessitate by the local authority.

3. That parents, and particularly those facing disadvantage including low income families, continue to be supported, in particular by the Family Information Service, to take up their current and future statutory entitlements in relation to childcare provision and paying for childcare.

4. That work continues to implement the new national funding formula for the early years free entitlement for two, three and four year olds which maximises the funding passed on to providers from the early years block of the Designated Schools Grant.

5. That the CSA will be used to inform the development of an early years strategy for the city, to include access to high quality childcare, particularly for disadvantaged children.

 

Supporting documents:

 


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