Free childcare has a price for a quarter of families, says report

By Mithran Samuel, Caroline Lovell, Derren Hayes and Amy Taylor

Free childcare has a price for a quarter of families, says report

A tenth of children in non-working or low-income families are failing to take up free nursery places, research by the Daycare Trust out today has found.

The study also found that over a quarter of families are having to pay for their entitlement to free nursery care for 12.5 hours a week for three- and four-year-olds.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 9 October 2007 page 6

Straw moves to ban incitement against gays

The government has said it is considering introducing laws banning inciting hatred on the grounds of disability after announcing it would ban incitement to homophobic hatred.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 9 October 2007 page 7

Colleges call for thousands more midwives to ensure safety

Thousands more midwives and obstetricians are needed to make sure childbirth is safer for women and their babies, according to a report from four of the royal medical colleges yesterday.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 9 October 2007 page 15

Tax credit system under fire

The tax credit system remains deeply flawed, the parliamentary ombudsman, Ann Abraham, will say today in a report which says that a quarter of the complaints that she receives each year are about tax credits.

Most complaints concern the way Revenue and Customs seek to recover overpayments, with complainants saying they had received “inadequate, confusing and sometimes even contradictory explanations for overpayments”, which made it hard for them to challenge the Revenue.

Source:- The Financial Times Tuesday 9 October 2007 page 3

A Waste of Young Lives

As the 51st person under the age of twenty, Rizwan Darbar, is murdered over a mobile phone, Daily Mirror’s Tony Parsons argues that youth gun and knife crime is not simply “media hysteria” but a reality for children of Britain today.

Source: – Daily Mirror, Tuesday October 9 2007, page 5

Interpol in appeal to find prolific child abuser

Interpol has launched, for the first time ever, an international appeal to track down a known paedophile, who is seen in hundreds of images abusing boys as young as six on the internet.

It decided to appeal to the public, after an Interpol investigation failed to locate the man.  German police specialists and the Trafficking in Human Beings Unit at Interpol decoded images of the man from the internet and have published them on their website.

Source: – The Independent, Tuesday October 9 2007, page 9

Scottish news

15 councils failing in foster pay

The number of local authorities in Scotland paying realistic allowances to foster carers has nearly doubled in the past 12 months, a survey has found.

But almost one-half are still failing to support adequately families who take on a foster child, according to research by Fostering Network Scotland.

Seventeen of the 32 councils are now paying allowances in line with the minimum weekly rates recommended by the charity, compared with nine last year. However, 15 authorities are still paying below the charity’s recommended minimum.

Source:- The Herald, Tuesday 9 October

Unfair sacking claim by Kerelaw depute head

The former depute head of a school attached to a secure unit for young people, which was at the centre of allegations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children in care, has claimed he was unfairly sacked by Glasgow Council.

Chris Johnson told an employment tribunal he was unfairly dismissed from his position at Kerelaw School two years ago for alleged management failings.

Problems at the unit came to light in April 2004 when the Care Commission alerted Glasgow Council to abuse claims. The school and the unit were subsequently closed.

There is no suggestion Johnson was involved in any alleged child abuse.

Source:- The Scotsman, Tuesday 9 October

Welsh news

Our councils can still get better

Most council services throughout Wales have improved over the past year, according to new figures.

Despite this the Local Government Data Unit figures also show there are significant areas where standards have either remained the same or got worse.

Local government minister Brian Gibbons said that the service improvements were down to managerial expertise as much as the resources available.

Source:- Western Mail, Tuesday, October 9 2007

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