The Levelling the Playing Field campaign has published a report which reveals the difficulties faced by disabled children and their families in accessing government-funded childcare. For example, only 60% of parents of disabled 3- and 4-year-old children receive the full free entitlement of 15 hours per week for 38 weeks. A quarter (25%) receive none of the entitlement. This is in stark contrast to the wider population, as nearly all (96%) of 3- and 4-year-olds are currently accessing the full entitlement of 15 hours per week.
PACEY is a supporter of the campaign, which is organised through the Every Disabled Child Matters initiative and 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.
Liz Bayram, Chief Executive of the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, said:
‘PACEY is highly supportive of this important campaign. It is scandalous that disabled children are not able to benefit from the high-quality childcare and early learning experiences that their able-bodied peers have access to. Whilst we have welcomed the Government’s plan to double the free childcare offer, it is clear that this needs to address the needs of all families, including those with disabled children. The Government has a new opportunity – and a responsibility – to address the extra costs and challenges associated with providing high quality childcare for disabled children and ensure its childcare policy benefits the entire population.”
Download the Levelling the Playing Field report here.
PACEY publishes a comprehensive guide to caring for children with SEND, which is available here