Forum Report: Tues 9 May 2006: Childcare Bill

Panel Session – Childcare Bill

Paul Goodman MP, the Shadow Minister for Childcare, and The Baroness Morris of Bolton, the Shadow Minister in the Lords for Children, Education & Health – took part in the CWO Forum Panel Session to discuss the Childcare Bill on 2nd May.

The Panel is part of a series enabling women with an interest in politics, or a particular issue, to talk directly to the Conservative Frontbench in Parliament responsible for the Bills.

Opening the debate, Paul Goodman MP highlighted some of the options facing the country on Childcare and emphasized that he thought “Flexibility and choice are key”.

Baroness Morris said that the Parliamentary team were working to try to put “parents” back into the Bill. She said that she thought the Bill is too focussed on registration and regulation. The Bill also threatens private provision of childcare and sets stringent targets for Local Authorities to provide it.

The Shadow Frontbench team were joined by Andrea Leadsom from the Oxford Parent Infant Project (OXPIP). OXPIP is a charity focussing on the needs of children under five and particularly those under a year old. They are concerned with developing ‘ attachment ‘

About 35 women attended the panel session and a very lively and interesting discussion followed with many strong opinions being voiced. It demonstrated the complexity of the issue and highlighted the need for flexibility and choice for parents.

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