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Children: Day Care

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what progress has been made towards meeting the target of each full daycare setting being led by a graduate and those in the most disadvantaged areas being led by two graduates by 2015; and if he will make a statement. (205385)

Over 1,000 people have been conferred with Early Years Professional Status. This number will continue to increase as the work of some candidates is resubmitted and reassessed, and as new candidates are assessed. Over 2,000 people are currently training towards Early Years Professional Status.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of affordability of childcare for children under the age of five; and if he will make a statement. (205423)

[holding answer 13 May 2008]: The childcare sufficiency assessments which all local authorities were required to complete by 31 March 2008 took account of the affordability of childcare, which is one of the factors which can be regarded as the 'benchmark' of sufficiency.

This Government recognise that childcare costs are a serious matter for some families in some areas, which is why we are doing more than ever before to make good quality childcare and early education accessible and affordable.

We are investing £3 billion per year to support free early education, so all 3 and four year olds, irrespective of the employment status of their parents, can benefit from 12.5 hours of free early years provision for 38 weeks per year. This increases to 15 hours by 2010 and will be delivered more flexibly to meet families' needs. In addition, we announced in the Children's Plan an additional 100m to pilot a free entitlement for 20,000 of our most disadvantaged two year olds.

We provide substantial help (totalling over £3 million a day) through the tax credit system, in providing up to 80 per cent. of childcare costs. This helps nearly 450,000 families, with nearly 280,000 of these families being those with children under the age of five.

The budget increased the commitment to childcare by announcing additional pilots to support new approaches to childcare, building on good practice from the additional childcare support provided by the £33 million London Childcare Affordability Programme. In addition, the Government will also pilot new child development grants of 200 in 10 local authority areas, payable where parents take up their childcare places and have contact with their local Children's Centre.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 30 April 2008, Official Report, column 687W, on children: day care, what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of staff working in nurseries who are unqualified foreign nationals. (205429)

The information requested is not collected centrally.

The Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey collects information on staff qualifications that are relevant to working with children and young people. In 2006, the survey estimated that 10 per cent. of paid staff working in full day care settings in England held no qualifications. However, the survey does not collect information on the nationality of staff, therefore it is not possible to estimate the number or proportion of staff working in nurseries who were unqualified foreign nationals.