The summer holidays are just around the corner...

It’s that time of the year again, when the sun should be shining and the long school summer holidays loom ever closer. Although my children are now grown up, with both my wife and I working full time I remember what a challenge it was to look after them whenever they weren’t at school and especially during the summer holidays; this challenge still faces hard-working parents across Worcestershire.

We are fortunate to have some wonderful local facilities to entertain and occupy children. If the weather ever gets better, many older children will be able to visit the Droitwich Lido without their parents. The Hive in Worcester, which opens its doors to the public in July, also holds a fantastic and innovative children’s library. With new children’s computers and hundreds of books, it should keep children entertained for hours.

Nonetheless, the cost of childcare is a great concern and the Government wants to make sure that parents can find and afford high quality nurseries, after-school clubs and holiday schemes for their children.

So, the Department for Education has launched a new Government Commission into childcare. The Commission will look at a number of issues including the cost of childcare and ways to increase the number of places for out-of-school hours and holidays care.

One of the first steps the Government took after taking office in 2010 was to extend free early education to 15 hours a week for all three and four-year-olds. Steps are now also being taken to introduce this entitlement to disadvantaged two-year olds.

I hope that families in Worcestershire will be able to take advantage of the measures already put in place for childcare so that both children and parents are able to enjoy the summer. And if you’ve got an idea you’d like me to put to the Commission, please let me know.


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