Closure of Childcare Vouchers

In response to a campaign about the closure of childcare vouchers, David said:

"I share the belief that childcare is a vital provision that helps children and families across this country. I am glad that the Government is investing more in childcare than ever before.

Tax-Free Childcare will be available to over 2 million households to help with the cost of childcare. Working parents will be able to apply via an online childcare account, and access up to £2,000 per child, or £4,000 for disabled children. Everyone who earns at least £120 per week on average, but doesn't exceed £100,000 per annum, can apply for the scheme, which is fairer and better targeted than vouchers.

The Childcare voucher scheme is only offered by a minority of employers and self-employed parents are unable to access them. Therefore Tax-Free Childcare is fairer and more accessible to parents. Additionally, support will be paid per child rather than per parent, so lone parent households will now get as much support as those with more than one parent.

In addition to Tax-Free Childcare, 30 hours of free childcare per week is available for working parents of three and four year olds in England. There is also now more generous support available for parents who receive support under Universal Credit instead, who are able to claim up to 85 per cent of childcare costs."

Care Homes

In response to the campaign on the quality of care homes, David said:

"Caring for the elderly is one of the most significant challenges facing our ageing society. The independent Care Quality Commission (CQC) holds our care system to the highest possible standards, and has recently completed a comprehensive survey of social care in England.

I am encouraged by the latest report from the CQC, which has found that, despite financial pressure, four out of five adult social care services in England were rated as good or outstanding. The CQC report has, however, highlighted areas for concern, such as the regional disparity in quality of care and the rate of improvement of care services.

I support the Chancellor’s announcement in the 2017 Spring Budget to invest an additional £2 billion in 2017-18 and 2019-20 to aid councils in England to improve social care and relieve pressure on the rest of the NHS. This funding will be supplemented by measures to rapidly improve those areas most in need of improvement. Over the following three years, councils will have access to £9.25 billion funding for social care.

Whilst it is clear that money alone will not solve all the difficulties faced by our care sector, I support the Government’s real-terms increase in funding for social care. Furthermore, the Department of Health is implementing Quality Matters, a vital scheme committed to improving the care sector for patients, families, and carers alike."

More information about the campaign can be found here.