Issue - meetings
Flintshire Childcare Sufficiency Assessment 2014 - 2017
Meeting: 15/07/2014 - Cabinet (Item 28)
As detailed in the recommendations.
The Cabinet Member for Social Services presented the findings of the Flintshire Childcare Sufficiency Assessment for the period 2014-2017.
The Assessment of Childcare Sufficiency executed Flintshire County Council’s obligations under Section 26 of the Childcare Act (2006). It identified gaps and made recommendations that would meet the needs of parents so that the Authority could fulfil its childcare sufficiency duty.
The Assessment of Childcare Sufficiency suggested that the childcare market was functioning adequately across much of the County in meeting the needs of most working parents. However, there were areas where there were shortfalls in the volume or type of childcare. Through partnership working with Communities First, Jobcentre Plus and Families First Projects, the Childcare Development Group aimed to target groups of parents who needed intensive support, or specific localities where the market was not functioning. This could make a difference to families and their ability to participate and contribute to the local economy, and to raise children out of poverty.
In response to a question from the Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, the Chief Officer, Social Services said that the areas identified within the Assessment where development of more childcare was needed should show an improvement the following year.
The Cabinet Member for Lifelong Learning asked if negotiations were taking place with Cylch Meithrin and whether employers on industrial estates in the County were encouraged to provide childcare in the area. The Chief Officer, Social Services explained that in some areas parents would like to see more choice of Welsh medium childcare but additional childcare places were not always needed. There was a danger of unsustainable competition for a limited number of children if parallel Welsh and English medium settings were created in areas where there was no significant demand for additional childcare which would lead to sustainability problems for both. In response to the question of employers in the County providing childcare, this had been a major part of the consultation to date which would continue. An example of an employer providing childcare was cited as Coleg Cambria.
(a) That the Council’s Childcare Sufficiency Audit be noted; and
(b) That the contents of the report be noted and the on-going work being undertaken by the Childcare Development Group in working towards addressing the recommendations in the audit of sufficiency be supported.