In response to the announcement from the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg on 25 September 2012 that early education and childcare providers are to receive £100m to help them meet a growing demand for places, Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser for NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents, said:
“NCT has consistently called for measures that help parents with young children to maintain a balance between work and family life, while achieving an adequate income to care for the family, so we welcome this move from the government. Being able to access high-quality childcare at low cost or free of charge is crucial to allow parents to return to work at the time that is right for them and without undue anxiety about the safety and wellbeing of their babies or children.
“We are pleased to see the money will be used to support new nurseries and childminders in getting established, as well as helping existing providers to create and provide additional places. Wider access to childcare is key for parents living at a distance from their workplace and away from extended family members who might assist them. A further useful feature for parents is flexibility of timing as many jobs demand their attendance outside the ‘9-to-5’ traditional hours, and we hope that new and existing childcare providers will aim to offer a range of hours to help parents in this position.”