Plea to prevent voucher anomaly

13th December 1996 at 00:00
Campaigners against vouchers this week met Welsh Office officials in a bid to end "discrimination" against foster children.

They claim the Government's nursery voucher scheme penalises four-year-old foster children because there is no clear procedure for giving them the Pounds 1,100 education voucher.

A Welsh Office spokeswoman said: "We recognise there are practical difficulties with children in foster homes. We have talked to social services and are continuing to consult them."

But a Swansea-based nursery action group is concerned that a separate procedure for giving foster children vouchers will discriminate against them.

Caroline Davies, an action group member, said that the problem arose because children in foster care did not receive child benefit - the voucher scheme's main database for identifying four-year-olds is the child benefit register.

Lesley Whitney, Norfolk's co-ordinator for services to children under eight, said her county encountered exactly the same problems as the Swansea nursery action group, but resolved difficulties after talks with the Department for Education and Employment.

Norfolk has now advised foster carers to apply direct for vouchers.

As very young children in foster care often had short-term placements it was important that the natural parents should have a say in where the vouchers were used, said Lesley Whitney.

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