Launch of the Hackney Commission into Affordable Childcare
A new initiative has been launched in Hackney, which will see parents, local authority employees and childcare providers work together to find high quality, affordable and sustainable childcare solutions.
The Commission into Affordable Childcare will work independently and provide 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.
We want to make sure that Hackney offers high quality early education and childcare that works for every child, in line with our 2022 manifesto commitment.
We can’t do that alone and strongly believe that only by working together with other local organisations and families can we find the best way to meet the needs of our communities and children, and we are confident that the Commission into Affordable Childcare will help us deliver on this ambition. We also hope that some of the ideas we develop through this work will lead to national policy change and a better and more sustainable approach to affordable childcare.
The initiative will bring together parents and carers, childcare providers, and other members of the local communities, who will look at local childcare offers, challenges, risks, and costs, as well as ways to maximise the support available for families in the borough.
Earlier this year, Hackney Council invited parents and carers to express their interest in working as members of the Commission, and share their own experiences accessing childcare provisions.
We know that lack of access to affordable childcare can be a driver into poverty; that current subsidies do not cover the full costs of provision; that top-down proposals such as increasing staff child ratios are not a serious solution - and if implemented could diminish quality of care. Through this commission we want to see the importance, knowledge and dedication of our early years educators recognised, ideas around access and sustainability openly and progressively debated, and the experience of children, parents and carers shared.
We would like to extend our thanks to all those who applied to become members of the commission. We welcomed in particular the applications from parents and carers across the borough, of whom at least six will be joining the Commission, and all parent and carer applicants will be invited to join focus groups.
Appointment of June O’Sullivan MBE as Chair of the Commission
Earlier this month, June O’Sullivan MBE was appointed as Chair of the Commission into Affordable Childcare.
June is the CEO of the London Early Years Foundation, one of the UK’s leading charitable social enterprises focused on providing high quality and accessible early years education and care to children across London. The organisation focuses in particular on supporting disadvantaged children in the most deprived boroughs across 40 of its nurseries and pre-school settings.
An inspiring speaker, author, podcaster and regular media commentator and adviser to governments, academics and business, June brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of early years education. June was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours in 2013, for her services to London’s children.
Without doubt, children benefit from attending good quality early years education and care services, both immediately and in the long-term. I'm therefore delighted to be chairing the Mayor of Hackney's new Commission into Affordable Childcare to listen to the voice of the community and help the Mayor and his team to explore possible solutions to support children and parents in Hackney.
The first meeting of the Commission will take place before the end of March. The Commission is expected to run for six to nine months.