Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

24 JUL 2018

Steve Brine pledges support for local childcare providers

Steve Brine has met with local childcare provider Sarah Parsons in parliament and pledged his commitment to support local childcare providers.

Sarah was taking part in a campaign day in Parliament that was organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Childcare and Early Education. The event saw 100 childcare providers gather in Parliament to meet with MPs and Peers to share their experiences of the government's 30 hours childcare policy.

The policy, which was rolled out nationally in September 2017, has been criticised by providers and parents for being underfunded. Childcare providers across the country have raised concerns that this threatens their long-term financial sustainability and are calling on MPs to campaign the government to increase its funding.

Speaking after the event in Parliament, Sarah said: "I met with Mr Steve Brine, MP for Winchester on 18th July during a campaign day organised by the 'All Party Parliamentary Group for Childcare and Early Education.'

"We discussed the difficulties faced by us and other charity-run Early Years educational settings, in particular the challenge of sustaining our preschool under the potential 30 hours incentive.

"St. Paul's Preschool is graded as an Outstanding Pre-school, dedicated to providing high quality education to Early years children. Many of our staff are senior practitioners so we are able to offer far more than childcare – our pre-schoolers receive an invaluable education at this crucial stage of development.

"If the 30 hours incentive became statutory, the shortfall between the funding provided by HCC and the cost of running the preschool would mean that after 40 years as a successful Preschool serving Winchester and surrounding areas, we would have to close.

"An established Pre-school, local to us, who took on the 30 hours this year, has unfortunately had to close its doors today.

"We would like to request additional funding, we want to investigate what the local council retention fees are, and whether the government funding can go straight to Pre-schools as per Academies. We also need confirmation that the 30 hour funding policy will not become a statutory requirement, as this will regrettably lead to the closure of St Paul's.

"We are grateful for Mr Brine's continuing support on these issues, having welcomed him and the then Educational Secretary, Caroline Dinenage, in January 2017, during the pilots for this policy. Mr Brine has delivered so far on the actions he has promised. I look forward to seeing what comes from his input."

Steve Brine said: "We brought the Early Years Minister to St Paul's last year and I am committed to continue working with them to navigate our way through this uncertain time. The 30-hours policy has to be right, because we want to support parents who want to get back to work, but we need to work together with the local authority and the Department to ensure any unintended consequences don't adversely impact small pack-away preschool settings such as St Paul's in Fulflood."

Pictured; Steve Brine MP with Sarah Parsons

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Early Day Motions (EDMs)

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