After-hours childcare role outlined in report

11th April 1997 at 01:00
Schools should play a bigger role in childcare after school hours and during the holidays, says a new report from the Department for Education and Employment.

The report, Work and Family: ideas and options for childcare, analyses 343 responses on a national framework for childcare following a consultation paper launched by education junior minister Cheryl Gillan last August.

The 46-page consultation report says there was "considerable" support for more childcare in schools, especially after school hours and during the holidays.

A number of organisations criticised schools for being slow and reluctant to change.

The Parents at Work pressure group said: "While employers have started to make work more flexible to fit with the needs of parents, schools have been remarkably slow to respond to changing work patterns and to adapt hours to suit."

And Hertfordshire County Council said: "Schools of all types are an under-used facility. Unfortunately many governing bodies (which control the use of premises out of school time) are reluctant to allow out-of-school clubs to operate or charge high rents to clubs which do run."

Wight Training and Enterprise Council said there was tension between schools and out-of-school clubs: "Some teachers think they are the only worthwhile providers of educational experience. There needs to be a cultural change. "

There was overwhelming support for a national strategy on childcare. The Confederation of British Industry called for a Government-led framework and the Daycare Trust said the Government must be an active partner in childcare policy.

The question which attracted the greatest number of responses (104) was: "Is school-age childcare the right priority?" Views on this question were almost evenly balanced. A slight majority (54), including most of the childcare organisations, felt that efforts and resources should be spread right across the age range.

Work and Family: Ideas and Options for Childcare is available from the Department for Education and Employment Publications Centre, PO Box 6927, London E3 3NZ. Tel: 0171 510 0150.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today