Radical overhaul of child care requested

Daycare Trust chairperson Lisa Harker has
urged the government to use its current review of child care to set
a new vision for children’s services and build a modern child care

Writing in Childcare Now, she said
the review offered a “once in a lifetime opportunity to create
publicly funded services that meet the needs of children and
families in twenty-first century Britain”.

She said the review was “a chance to take
stock and reflect on where we might be in five, 10 or 15 years’

Some parts of the National Childcare Strategy
may need to be rethought, said Harker. For example, the current
allocation of the billions of the pounds to fund different parts of
the strategy may need to be questioned.

“Services for children need to be seen as
publicly funded services, not as simply a market or an employee
perk. The current demand and supply funding mix may need to be
rethought,” she said.

In addition, Harker called for the costs that
parents face – 93 per cent of total child care expenses, compared
with 25 to 30 per cent in some other countries – to be reduced.

She added: “We have an unprecedented
opportunity to establish child care as an exemplary area of public
policy, inspired by a vision about where we ultimately hope to get
to and informed by a sense that we can all work to make it a

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