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Inquiry into government’s childcare policy launches

By Rachel Lawler

Nicky Morgan MP
The Treasury Committee has launched an inquiry into the government’s childcare policy and its role in supporting parental employment. The committee will consider how the policy is being implemented – including the problems faced by the Childcare Service website.
The committee will also look at how government schemes work alongside each other and whether they have adequately supported parental employment and how effective they have been in their aim to make childcare more affordable.

Ongoing concerns
Nicky Morgan, chair of the treasury select committee, said: “High quality and affordable childcare is important for getting parents into work and supporting working families. The Treasury Committee will look at how it delivers benefits to the economy and supports labour productivity and participation.
“We’ll also look at the effectiveness of government initiatives at making childcare accessible and affordable. There had been reports of problems with the HMRC-run Childcare Service website, which has been a cause for concern. We’ll examine the impact of these failures on the take-up of Government initiatives that aim to make childcare affordable."
Key questions due to be considered by the inquiry include:
  • What is causing the poor take-up of the tax-free childcare scheme when compared to initial government projections?
  • How does tax-free childcare interact with the 30-hour offer and how are parents using these schemes?
  • Have all eligible applicants for the 30-hour scheme received the benefit?
  • Has the government provided sufficient funding for the 30-hour scheme?
Evidence sought
The first evidence session of the inquiry will be held on 31 January 2018 with Elizabeth Truss, chief secretary to the treasury, with responsibility for childcare, in attendance.
The inquiry is also accepting written evidence, which can be submitted here. The deadline for submissions is 9 February 2018.
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