About the Commission
A new initiative has been launched in Hackney, where parents, local authority employees and childcare providers are working together to find high quality, affordable and sustainable childcare solutions.
The Commission into Affordable Childcare works independently and provides advice to the Council in its approach towards building lasting partnerships with other local organisations (public, private or not for profit) focused on offering inclusive, sustainable childcare options.
The initiative brings together parents and carers, childcare providers, and other members of the local communities, to look at local childcare offers, challenges, risks, and costs, as well as ways to maximise the support available for families in the borough.
Summer 2023 update
The Commission has been busy looking into the issues faced by childcare providers and parents in the borough in terms of accessibility and costs of childcare provisions, and what is working well.
Since its launch, the Commission has carried out a number of virtual engagement sessions with a range of childcare providers and parents. These sessions have helped the Commission learn what are the broad issues that affect providers and beneficiaries of childcare. The Commission also had a chance to find out more about individual challenges that families faced, depending on their personal circumstances.
At its latest meeting at the beginning of July 2023, the Commission also heard from Hackney Council officers about their areas of work. This was an opportunity for Commission members to ask questions and find out more about how the Council supports the sector.
The meeting was a chance for the Commission to learn more about:
- how the Early Years teams are ensuring the sufficiency of childcare places in the borough
- what other services families can access as part of the Council’s offer (including Children and Family Hubs and Family Information Services)
- aspects related to the existing and future free entitlement (including emerging issues following the promise of a future financial boost for the sector from the central government)
Other topics covered communications, the Inclusion fund, as well as planning.
As part of the next steps, the Commission is looking to hear more from families about their direct experience of accessing childcare in Hackney. Engagement sessions will continue throughout July. Families that are unable to attend the planned sessions, but would still like to provide their input, can do so by completing a survey.