The Parliamentary Inquiry into Childcare for Disabled Children found that:
- 41% of families with disabled children aged three and four are unable to access the full 15 hours free entitlement to childcare and early years education due to a chronic lack of appropriate settings or lack of funding.
- 86% of parent carers who responded to the Inquiry’s survey reported paying above average childcare costs, with 38% paying £11-20 and 5% paying more than £20.
- 72% of families with disabled children have cut back or given up work because of childcare problems
The childcare situation gets worse as a disabled child gets older: the cost increases and availability gets even more limited as mainstream holiday and after school clubs are often not inclusive
There is confusion among local authorities, nurseries and schools about what their duties are in providing childcare for disabled children.
To begin to tackle some of these key issues, the Inquiry is calling on all parties to commit to developing a coherent policy to improve access to affordable, accessible, and appropriate childcare for all children.
The Parliamentary Inquiry has been supported by Every Disabled Child Matters, Family and Childcare Trust, Contact a Family and Working Families.