Government will not publish childcare cost responses

Family Law|January 14th 2016

Confidentiality concerns mean the government will not publish responses to a consultation on the provision of free childcare.

Launched last year, the document invited feedback from interested parties on government plans to provide 15 hours of free childcare per week to parents of three- and four year-olds.

The government promised to increase funding rates for nurseries and day care centres, and launched the consultation in order to examine “what factors drive providers’ costs and the characteristics of the childcare market”.

It published a summary of the feedback received in December but Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah insisted that the government will not publish the full responses, following a question from Labour MP Emily Thornberry.

He said:

“It is not the department’s policy to publish individual responses to a consultation or to a call for evidence, some of which may have been submitted to the department in confidence.”

However, the feedback did persuade the government to increase its hourly rate of pay to nurseries and day care centres by 30p per hour, the Minister added.

Neil Leitch of membership organisation the Pre-School Learning Alliance, described the decision as “disappointing”. He said the organisation accepted the government’s unwillingness to publish individual responses but the Alliance had hoped, he explained, to view the sources of the feedback used in the report.

Read the summary here.

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