Saturday, 31 May 2008

How parents want Granny, not the State, to look after their children

Full Story:

Parents are shunning 'inflexible' state childcare and asking grandparents to look after their youngsters instead, a Government report found yesterday. They are turning to relatives and even neighbours for help, suggesting nurseries and childminders are either too expensive or failing to offer the kind of care they want. The report - commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families - threatens to derail Gordon Brown's ten-year childcare strategy. Researchers warn the initiative 'has not had as much impact as intended, particularly in relation to the most disadvantaged children'. Despite a massive expansion of childcare - including the introduction of extended schools giving care from 8am to 6pm for under-14s - places are not being taken up. The report says parents complain about high costs which would make working 'not worthwhile', as even schools are now allowed to charge for their extended services under this new regime.

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