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Family-friendly Policies

Volume 531: debated on Monday 11 July 2011

The Government are committed to promoting family-friendly policies that can support better child outcomes, help parents to balance work and family life and deliver real benefits to employers. The Department is funding a scheme to support organisations to adopt more family-friendly services and working environments for clients and employees. The Government are consulting on proposals to introduce more flexible parental leave and extend the right to flexible working to all employees.

Lack of good child care can consign many capable women to the family home or to not having children. What action will the Minister take to improve this situation?

I am very aware of the difficulties that many families face in accessing suitable child care, which is one of the reasons why we announced last week that we will consult on a more flexible arrangement for adopting the free entitlement so that families can access it a little earlier and a little later in the day, for example. That is exactly why we extended the free entitlement to 15 hours.