today hosted a conference to help shape the government's national
The conference will be jointly chaired by Alan Howarth and Joan
childcare organisations, local authorities and people who work
directly with children.
The aim is to bring together the key players at the conference, using
their knowledge and utilising their best ideas in order to deliver
accessible, affordable and high quality childcare to every community
Alan Howarth said:
'We are determined to put in place a comprehensive childcare strategy
that matches the requirements of a modern labour market and helps
parents balance work and family life. Our aim is to ensure that no
parent in the UK will be prevented from taking up work, education or
training through lack of affordable, quality childcare.
'Today's event is an important opportunity to hear expert views and
discuss many of the important issues which will make up the Childcare
Strategy: what it really means for children and their families to
have good childcare provision; how to tackle accessibility, quality
and affordability, and how to make the best of partnerships,
especially those with employers.'
Delegates to today's Conference include representatives from local
government, CBI and TUC, the National Childminding Association,
National Council for One Parent Families, TECs, Equal Opportunities
Commission, Opportunity 2000, Midland Bank and many others.
Joan Ruddock said:
'Creating employment opportunities for women is central to our
philosophy of a modern and inclusive society and improving childcare
provision is central to creating these opportunities.
'This government is making available an extra #300 million to ensure
that there is out of school provision in every community in Britain.'
1. The Government announced a£300m package to provide
out-of-school childcare for every community in Britain. Childcare
will be available before and after school and during school holidays.
2. Out-of-school clubs offer play opportunities and care for 4 to 12
year olds at times which allow their parents to work and study. They
provide a service after school hours and some are also open before
the school day begins. Clubs are registered by local authorities and
employ trained playcare workers.