We did it! Government changes childcare policy in favour of disabled children

Posted on Feb 9, 2015 | 0 comments

This just in!

Contact a Family, the charity who drew up the report into childcare issues for disabled children and pressed for a Parliamentary inquiry, emailed today with the new draft legislation regarding childcare costs. Families with disabled children will now be allowed to put double the amount aside tax-free as other families. This will mean a gain of £2,000/year towards childcare costs.

IMG_2239 crop“Representations were made during consultation that additional support should be provided for disabled children in view of the generally higher childcare costs their parents can face. Similar comments were also made during the Bill’s Commons Committee stage when the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury made a commitment to consider this matter further.

Having considered this, the Government has decided to introduce legislation to increase the maximum amount that parents of disabled children can pay into their childcare accounts, in recognition of the higher childcare costs these families incur. For accounts for disabled children, the maximum payment for a standard three month entitlement period will be doubled to £4,000. This means that a parent with a disabled child will be able to pay up to £16,000 into their childcare account per year and receive top-up payments of up to £4,000.”

I’ve written a lot about this. Almost 3/4 of mothers have to give up their jobs or move to part-time work after having a disabled child, according to research by Contact a Family. Furthermore, the research shows that the fees for children who are accepted are on average 8x the cost of other children.

Doubling the amount parents can set aside tax-free will definitely help, but it’s only a start. It’s not 8x the cost of fees for other families, nor does it address the costs to nurseries and childminders in additional staffing, training and infrastructure.

Still, I’m very pleased. This will definitely help!

I’m very proud to have been part of the group of dynamic women who campaigned alongside me: Katherine Kowalski from Orange This Way, Hannah Postgate of Rosy & Bo and Mr Boo’s mum from Premmediations, along with the other parents and MPs Pat Glass and Robert Buckland who chaired the inquiry.

That we had cross party support goes a long way in showing how important it is to get women working again and give their disabled children access to early years education.

#WeWork. (We do. If you’d let us…)

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