On 14th October 2015 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Childcare Bill at its Report stage. The House voted on an amendment from Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, which sought to delay the introduction of Government plans to double the amount of free childcare for parents of three and four-year-olds until a full analysis of the funding the policy had been carried out. An ITV news report on the vote is here.
Amendment: ‘before clause 1, to insert the new clause Funding review’.
The House divided: Contents: 222 | Not Contents: 209 | Result: Government Defeat
The Bishop of St Albans voted content. No bishop voted not content.
“On behalf of the well-being of the children themselves, if we are going to make this increase in provision, which I am sure we will and indeed should, let us try to ensure that all the regulations that follow place the child at the centre, not the adults, whether those adults be the parents, the providers or the politicians.” – Bishop of Durham, 16/6/15
On Tuesday 16th June 2015 the House of Lords debated the Government’s Childcare Bill. Details about the Bill can be seen here. The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the debate, raising concerns related to funding, capacity, pay and putting the needs of children first. The full text of his speech is below, with extracts from the Minister’s reply, and can also be watched on the Parliament website here.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, in welcoming the general intent of this Bill, I wish to raise a number of concerns. It seems to me that there are already several common threads in what is being said. It may well be that they will be addressed—they will need to be—in the secondary legislation, but to be able fully to support the Bill I believe this House needs some assurances regarding these concerns. In raising them, I wish to point out that I have consulted some who are engaged in this work already, and also those for whom it is intended to be a benefit—parents and, indeed, grandparents. Continue reading “Childcare Bill – Speech by Bishop of Durham”