There's considerable support across parliament to make certain groups exempt in exceptional circumstances, such as the victims of domestic violence, and we'd like to see the same for those who are in training and attempting to upskill in order to move into employment. This means exempting single parents from the 16-hour commitment.
On my way to work this morning, I saw a woman in her early thirties. She was smartly dressed, in a business suit, and looked like a lawyer or other professional also on her way to work. She trotted along in her high-heeled court shoes, a slight frown on her face. She was probably thinking about an issue at work.
We know many parents and carers have to juggle work with family commitments. That is one of the reasons why the Scottish Government has expanded free annual early learning and childcare to 600 hours a year for all three and four year olds and some two year olds.
It must be wider recognised that mother and child constitute a family and giving women a second chance, with help and support from the state, the voluntary sector and wider kin, might enable them to encounter the responsibilities of motherhood and break the cycle which is placing unprecedented numbers of babies into the care system.
The reality is that the government will become our sector's biggest customer in 2017 when full roll-out of childcare reform is here. But it has to pay us fairly if it wants us to deliver high quality care and education sustainably. The funding has to be sufficient.
We need to attract more people in the UK to become care workers and to do this we need to stop being a youth-obsessed society and start seeing older people as real human beings and value their wisdom and life experience. By valuing older people more, we will value the people who care for them and vice versa - the two are entwined.
LSE is at risk of losing its nursery once again. As a result of its mounting deficit, the school has conducted research into its childcare provisions over the last few months and claim that there is a lack of demand for LSE's nursery, consequently putting childcare in jeopardy for both our staff and students.
My brief tenure as a founding member, and contributor to policy development, of the Women's Equality Party (or WEP) is, I fear, up. As I had feared wh...
The annual party gatherings are over; clear lines have emerged between the main parties; and now all eyes will revert to Parliament as the stage for the next bout of jousting. Debates will range from tax credits to trade union rights to immigration.
I am a childcare provider. To my own children, at the cost of a professional London salary. Yet despite that cost, I am deemed to be making a 'lifestyle choice'; I am dismissed as making a personal decision, as though other parents who take the employment/nursery option are not.
The number of mums now working is up by a fifth since the 1990s and the figures for those working full time have increased to around a third, up from less than a quarter in the mid-90s. This has also meant a huge focus on childcare for working families.
There is no doubt that some people are sitting smugly thinking 'this would never happen to us' however I think we all need to recognise that this could happen to any of us. This situation poses some questions?
As a dietitian, I know just how important it is for growing children and teenagers to eat a balanced, nutritious diet. And as a mum, I know first-hand how difficult it can be! So just how can we ensure our children eat a healthy diet, without mealtimes turning into a battlefield?
I'm proud of what we've achieved over the past 100 days, building on major reforms to improve child protection and support for children in care. But this is no time to rest on our laurels - it's very much a beginning. After all, this isn't just about the changes we can make in a given number of days, it's about making changes that will have a positive effect for years to come...
While we've achieved a huge amount over the past 100 days, there's still a lot of work to be done. And I'm committed to putting in that work so we can make changes that help hard working families for years to come.
My job is to represent the armies of talented and hard-working people who care for and educate very young children in the UK. It could look like a warm and cuddly arena more concerned with sand pits and nap times than spreadsheets and bottom lines.