Childcare inquiry will focus on 30-hour funding

Sue Learner
Thursday, January 25, 2018

MPs will examine the impact of high quality, flexible and affordable childcare on the economy, in a new inquiry launched by the Treasury Committee.

PPS

MPs will examine the impact of high quality, flexible and affordable childcare on the economy, in a new inquiry launched by the Treasury Committee.

MPs on the Committee will scrutinise the processes around how childcare schemes are delivered and the quality of childcare interfaces, such as the Childcare Service website.

A crucial question, which the early years sector will be particularly interested in, is whether the Government gives sufficient funding for the 30-hour offer.

IT glitches on the Childcare Service website last year meant many parents were unable to apply for the Government’s ‘free’ childcare schemes.

Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said: ‘We will be looking at the effectiveness of Government initiatives at making childcare accessible and affordable, and the impact of this on the economy and employment.

‘There have been reports of problems with the HMRC-run Childcare Service website, which has been a cause for concern. We’ll examine the impact of these failures on the take-up of Government initiatives that aim to make childcare affordable.’

MPs will also consider the overall package of Government initiatives that aim to make childcare affordable, how they interact with each other and their effectiveness, and whether they have delivered an adequate provision of affordable childcare that helps parental employment.

Some of the key questions the Committee will consider in this inquiry include what are the mechanisms through which dependable and high quality childcare could improve labour productivity and how many parents are struggling to find affordable and high quality childcare.

It will also examine what is causing the poor take-up of the Tax-Free Childcare scheme when compared to initial government projections, and how it interacts with the 30-hour free childcare scheme.

The first evidence session of this inquiry will be on 31 January 2018 with Rt Hon. Elizabeth Truss MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
with responsibility for childcare policy.

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