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Departmental Child Care Facilities

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 10 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what child care (a) provision and (b) assistance is available to his Department’s staff; (89530)

(2) which of his Department’s premises have child care facilities on site;

(3) whether there are waiting lists for places at child care facilities which his Department provides for its employees.

The Department is committed to providing quality child care support and offers a range of the following options to staff:

50 subsidised nursery places on its Runcorn and Sheffield sites. There are no waiting lists for these nurseries;

Pre-school age child care vouchers which are payable for 48 weeks per year and are valued at £20 per week for Runcorn, Sheffield and Darlington staff and £30 per week for London staff. These amounts are pro-rated for part-time staff;

School age vouchers, introduced from 1 May 2006, which replaced departmental play scheme subsidy previously paid to staff, on all sites. These vouchers are paid monthly, London staff receive £38 per month and staff on other sites receive £32 per month, pro-rated for part-time staff. These vouchers offer parents greater flexibility and choice;

Access to a public sector play scheme for school age children on the Darlington and London sites. There are no waiting lists for these play schemes; and

A Childcare Salary Sacrifice scheme, which was introduced on 1 May 2006. This enables staff to make savings on tax and national insurance contributions by sacrificing part of their salary for child care vouchers which can then be used towards payment of pre-school child care and/or school age holiday child care support.