Every neighbourhood should have a children’s centre with
well-trained staff and family support services, according to a new
report from the Daycare Trust.
Quality Matters, published to mark National Childcare
Week 2001, calls for children’s centres to be a base and a
beacon for appropriate, affordable, quality childcare for every
child from birth to 14-years-old.
The report reviewed international research into the effects of
childcare, and said that in order for it to be successful, services
should support the needs of the whole family and build upon the
government’s Sure Start programme.
A separate survey for the Daycare Trust, with support from
Unison, reveals 93 per cent of respondents believe that affordable,
quality childcare should be available to all children aged 12
months and over. Only one in 10 working parents said their employer
provided help with childcare.
The survey conducted by Mori found that 64 per cent of working
parents thought their employers were family friendly, a 10 per cent
increase on figures from 1999. Fathers were more likely than
mothers to describe their employers as not family friendly, with 39
per cent of fathers compared with 19 per cent of mothers.
Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, said: “Employers should
see investment in childcare as an investments in their workforce.
Quality childcare doesn’t come cheap and that means that is
has to be subsidised not only from the public purse but by
employers; but the benefits that employers gain are obvious.”