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PACEY backs campaign to support free childcare places for disabled children

PACEY has put its name behind the Levelling the Playing Field campaign, in a letter to the Telegraph, signed by Chief Executive, Liz Bayram, alongside a number of other childcare and early years representatives.

The campaign, which launches today, Monday 6 July, aims to highlight the issues families with disabled children face in accessing suitable free childcare.

As the letter states: “A recent parliamentary inquiry found that 72 per cent of families with disabled children have cut back or given up work because of childcare problems, and nearly half of families were unable to access the existing offer of free early education due to a chronic lack of funding or appropriate facilities.”

The campaign, organised through the Every Disabled Child Matters initiative, run by four of the leading organisations working with disabled children and their families: Contact a Family, the Council for Disabled Children, Mencap, and the Special Education Consortium, calls on the Chancellor to address the inequality so often faced by disabled children in the current childcare system.

Liz Bayram, Chief Executive of the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, said:

“I am very happy to add PACEY’s name to this campaign.  

The fact that under half of councils now offer sufficient childcare provision is cause for serious concern. It is simply not good enough that only 21% of local authorities can provide adequate levels of childcare for disabled children. The Government’s plan to double the hours of free childcare needs to address the needs of all families, including those with disabled children.

It is so important that parents have a choice of high quality childcare – in a variety of settings - that best suits the needs and preferences of their children as well as the practical needs of the family.”

PACEY publishes a comprehensive guide to caring for children with SEND, which is available here.