Childcare Problems Faced By Disabled Children To Be Investigated

Problems disabled children and their families face when trying to access childcare, are to be investigated by an independent Parliamentary Inquiry.

Parents of disabled children are being asked to contribute to the investigation by sharing their views on how they believe childcare could be improved for their children.

Only 28 per cent of local authorities in England say they currently have enough childcare for disabled children.

And recent statistics have revealed that 66 per cent of parents have paid more for childcare for disabled children than for non-disabled children. Parents of disabled children report paying up to £20 per hour for childcare – compared to a national average of £4.25 for a child aged two to four years old.

The Parliamentary Inquiry will be co-chaired by Conservative MP Robert Buckland and Labour MP Pat Glass, and is being supported by the charities: Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM), the Family and Childcare Trust, Contact a Family and Working Families.

"As a parent and local campaigner, I fully appreciate the value of good quality childcare for children and young people with disabilities and their families," said Robert Buckland.

"Despite the growing political and public attention childcare has received, the issue of childcare for disabled children has received comparatively little attention. We have launched this inquiry to ensure that disabled children are part of the ongoing childcare debate."

Pat Glass added: "In light of what we know about the impact a lack of good quality, affordable childcare has on families with disabled children, it is more important than ever that children with additional needs are well-served by childcare provision going into the future.

"This Inquiry wants to make concrete and workable proposals as to how to tackle an issue that has negatively affected disabled children and their families for many years, so as to ensure that future childcare policy gets its right for all children, including disabled children and their families."

The consultation will be open until midday on June 9. For details about how to get involved in the inquiry visit EDCM.

Once the inquiry has gathered evidence from families, professionals and a range of stakeholders, they will report on their findings and recommendations by the end of July.

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