Sunday, 6 June 2010

Getting access to appropriate childcare

Today has been a good day. Seth goes to a mainstream nursery two days a week and the nursery has been fantastic. But he needs a lot of extra support which I feel they've been struggling to provide and so I've been trying to get the LEA to let him start preschool at the local special needs school this September even though he won't yet be 3 years old. Whilst I haven't been successful at that (he'll start in January) they have agreed to pay 15 hours of one to one care whilst he attends his nursery. And it will start in July (the education office will pay term time and SENCO will pay in the holidays). What a result! What helped was the following extract of a report produced in December 2009 by the Council for Disabled Children, for the Department for Children, Schools and Families. The report is titled Disabled Children's Access to Childcare. Information for local authorities. Another mum in a similar situation found it and sent it to me. Thanks Vania!

From this report:

'The Childcare Act (2006) imposes a duty on local authorities to secure

provision of childcare sufficient to meet the requirements of all parents in

their area who wish to take up, or remain in work, or to undertake education

or training that may lead to work. Section 6 specifically requires local

authorities to secure childcare provision for disabled children up to the age of

18. In this context, childcare must be ‘sufficient’ in terms of the number of

places, affordability, and appropriateness. In keeping with other activity,

local authorities are advised to undertake development work in partnership

with people who use the services that are provided. A duty to improve

information for families with disabled children about childcare options

available in their area and about financial help is also embedded within new

duties to provide information, advice and assistance set out in the Childcare