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Departmental Childcare Facilities

Volume 450: debated on Friday 20 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what childcare (a) provision and (b) assistance is available to his Department's staff. (89605)

DTI staff in central London have access to a 32-place holiday play-scheme in our 1 Victoria Street building, which is highly rated by both parents and children for its quality. DTI HQ staff in Cardiff have access to a local holiday play-scheme, which is situated within a school.

Costs for the Department for the holiday play scheme in 2005-06 were £59,936. They were £14 per day per child for an employee using the holiday play-scheme in London and £12 in Cardiff. Each play-scheme place is subsidised by the Department, the full daily rate being £31 in London and £24 in Cardiff.

In April 2006 the DTI introduced the Salary Sacrifice scheme, which is available to all parents and carers, and enables them to make savings on their child care fees.

The Department is fully committed to providing an employment package which supports working parents and carers. DTI provision is set within the wider context of an ambitious programme to support flexible working at all grades. The DTI consults its staff and unions regularly on these issues. The DTI’s clear support for working parents has enabled us, over the last decade, to retain many talented parents who might otherwise have left the workplace.

The DTI does not hold long-term waiting list for places for the DTI play-schemes. If the DTI play-schemes are over subscribed on any given day, a list of requests for that date is kept on a first come first served basis. If a place becomes available, the place is offered to the next child on the list.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which of his Department's premises have childcare facilities on site. (89606)

DTI staff in central London have access to a 32-two place holiday play-scheme in our 1 Victoria street building. DTI HQ staff in Cardiff have access to a local holiday play-scheme, which is situated within a school.