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Childcare for all: the role of the Local Offer

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Butler, Adam; Vu, Nhung & Watson, Abi
Publication Date: 
26 Jan 2017


Excerpted summary 

The Family Childcare and Trust in the UK has released a new report which turns an eye towards the availability and quality of information for parents seeking childcare arrangments for their children who are living with special education needs and disabilities (SEND).  Under the Children and Families Act 2014, local authorities are obliged to maintain a 'Local Offer' that outlines services and supports for children and young people with SEND in every community.  In a review of all Local Offers, many were missing or lacking in essential information about families' rights and options for childcare for children with SEND.  There was a good deal of variability among them but only a minority provided the information and guidance considered useful for parents in setting up appropriate childcare arrangements—including the availability of financial support, centre's duty to make reasonable adjustments to the environment or details related to inclusive practices.  A number of recommendations for the Department of Education and local authorities to improve the Local Offers are offered up as a way of moving towards a more integrated inclusion strategy for childcare services.