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Childcare minister Alan Howarth and minister for women Joan Ruddock ...
Childcare minister Alan Howarth and minister for women Joan Ruddock

today hosted a conference to help shape the government's national

childcare strategy.

The conference will be jointly chaired by Alan Howarth and Joan

Ruddock. It will involve leading childcare experts, including

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

in Britain.

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.

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