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Child Care

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 18 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give details of the ministerial group on women's issues, 1989 and 1990 five-point plans on child care.

In April 1989 the ministerial group on women's issues discussed and agreed the following five-point plan designed to encourage the development of a range of high-quality child care options:

  • 1. to amend the then Children Bill so as to improve the registration and enforcement arrangements for day nurseries, child minders and playgroups;
  • 2. to encourage the providers of child care and employers to consider the need for a voluntary accreditation scheme, which would provide information about the availability of child care facilities and guarantee the quality of the provision;
  • 3. to issue guidance to local education authorities and school governors in England, encouraging the use of school premises for after school and holiday play schemes;
  • 4. to give further support to the voluntary sector through pump-priming of projects and encouragement of partnerships between employers and the voluntary sector;
  • 5. to give further encouragement to employers to use the tax reliefs available to provide child care facilities.
  • Having implemented the April 1989 plan, the group approved a follow-up programme of action in February 1990:

  • 1. to issue new guidelines and regulations to local authorities on day care services for children under eight years, as part of the implementation of the Children Act 1989;
  • 2. the Department of Health to work with local authorities to help them improve their practice on the registration of day care services;
  • 3. to encourage the development of information services on child care for both parents and employers;
  • 4. to continue to encourage employers to become involved in providing help with child care for their staff;
  • 5. to continue to set an example to employers, by developing a range of flexible working patterns and child care facilities to assist civil servants who choose to combine paid work and family responsibility.