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Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 5TH OCTOBER, 2011

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING): 25TH JULY, 2011

 

 

“273    CHILDCARE SUFFICIENCY ASSESSMENT 2010/11 REPORT (DLD) -

 

The report sought to apprise the Committee of the Council’s duties under Section 22 and 26 of the Childcare Act 2007 which required Local Authorities to shape and support the development of childcare provision in the local area in order to make it flexible, sustainable and responsive to the needs of the community.

 

An initial Assessment had been carried out in 2007/8 and took account of demography, make up of children and families, childcare demand and supply and economic development and employment within the Vale of Glamorgan.  Following consultation with childcare providers, children and young people, employers and parents, a report was produced on its findings.

 

It was noted that an annual review had been carried out in 2009 which set out how the Local Authority responded to the findings of the initial Assessment and how the sufficiency duty was being met. 

 

In order to complete the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (CSA) for 2010/11, Cordis Bright had been commissioned to develop a “toolkit” which would provide essential information on preparing for a CSA, timescales and proposed consultation methods.  Work had commenced on the Assessment during May 2010 and a draft Assessment had been completed for consultation in February 2011 and this had been made available for public consultation via the Council’s StaffNet, the Council’s Website, via posters in childcare centres, libraries and leisure centres.  This consultation exercise ended in March 2011 and a report had been produced on the consultation findings. 

 

The findings of the consultation exercise highlighted a number of gaps in relation to the following matters:

 

·                    affordability of childcare

·                    support for childcare providers who care for children with disabilities

·                    levels of training offered to meet the needs of childcare providers

·                    number of Welsh medium childcare places in the Vale to meet the needs of parents

·                    childcare needs for those parents working different shift patterns

·                    further promotion of Family Information Service to parents regarding information on tax credits, childcare information, information on children’s and young people’s services, etc.

 

The finalised CSA had been submitted to the Welsh Government during April 2011 with the Welsh Government acknowledging receipt of the findings, reaffirmed the findings of the CSA and highlighted strengths and weaknesses of the same. 

 

To address the gaps highlighted within the CSA, Community Focused Schools childcare funding had been allocated to the Children and Young People’s Partnership for 2011/12 and this funding would be utilised to support relevant existing childcare settings established by the Community Focused Schools during 2010/11.  This funding would also seek to develop new childcare places / settings both for children with disabilities / additional needs and those wishing to enter into Welsh Medium education and to address the affordability issue regarding childcare provision.  The Committee noted that Flying Start already provided good quality free, part time childcare for 2-3 year olds within their designated areas but did not cover other areas deemed to be “areas of deprivation”.  The funding would also be used to establish a part time Childcare Development Worker post (15 hours) to support existing and new childcare settings within the Vale.

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the additional information provided via the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the key findings and recommendations for the review of Childcare provision be endorsed.

 

(3)       T H A T the draft Action Plan as set out in Appendix A to the report be endorsed and submitted to Cabinet for consideration.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In consideration of recommendations for the review of Childcare provision.

 

(2&3)  In order to progress the key findings and recommendations for the review of childcare provision and to obtain Cabinet’s approval of same.”

 

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