|New Mutual Models for Childcare|
at the launch of Mutuo’s recent report ‘Child’s Play – New mutual models for childcare’, Stephen
Burke, Director of the Daycare Trust commented, ‘Social
enterprises have a key role to play in developing new childcare services.’
The report looks at pilot schemes in the
But there is a desperate shortage of childcare places. That’s why the Government launched its National Childcare Strategy in 1998.
progress, the demand for places still far exceeds supply.
There is still only 1 place for every 7 children under 8yrs.
It’s worse in rural areas with only 33 places per 1000 children. Even
if they can find a place, parents in this country still face the highest
childcare bills in the
|In the report, Burke examines the effects of various Government initiatives including the Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative, the Sure Start programmes and the Working Families Tax Credit. The National Childcare Strategy has been a good start. However childcare care should be seen as part of an overall political agenda. Because they are locally based, community-owned businesses are particularly suited to providing childcare services. They also boost the local economy by providing jobs and training opportunities. The author calls upon the Government to actively encourage the development of these social enterprises.|
|The report looks at several methods of delivery including a new
initiative by the
But social enterprises are businesses. So the report rounds off with a very useful discussion on structures and constitutions from Cobbetts a leading law firm with long connections with mutual businesses and the co-operative movement
|Looking to the longer term, our aim should be that childcare centres, homework clubs, ‘Dawn to Dusk’ community centres and the like are regarded as a public good in the same way as we now look at schools, public libraries and other services. This report shows the way forward.|
Child’s Play – New mutual models for childcare
Edited by Stephen Hogan and Jean Whitehead
Published by £10
This article was published in Chartist Magazine Sept/Oct 2002