Free childcare now available to children in foster homes in Harlow
Communities / Thu 21st Dec 2017 at 12:48pm
FOSTER carers have recently become eligible for 30 hours of free childcare a week.
Following pressure from campaign groups and MP’s, Education Minister Robert Goodwill reversed a policy that would have excluded 3000 young children in care from the free education scheme.
‘I am delighted the Children’s Minister, Robert Goodwill MP, announced yesterday that the 30 hours free childcare policy will be extended to foster carers.’ said Harlow MP Robert Halfon.
‘This campaign got cross party support, including from every MP on my Education Select Committee and I know that this change will make a massive difference to the lives of many children in foster care.’
In a year that has seen foster carers fighting for basic level employment rights, this support from the Department of Education has been gratefully received by the fostering community.
Halfon called for the u-turn earlier this month during a speech on social justice to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, where he described the exclusion of fostered children from the scheme as ‘indefensible’.
‘A child’s parents’ employment status is no fault of their own, yet it will be their development that suffers for it.’ said Halfon during a debate on whether the state should provide free childcare to children of non-working parents.
‘When it comes to literacy, a child who has been in high-quality childcare for two-three years before school, starts almost eight months ahead of a child who hasn’t been in childcare. Foster carers raise some of society’s most vulnerable children, many of whom have the most to benefit from access high quality childcare.’