Childcare Matters

A new scheme offers free childcare for Westfield workers

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The Council has launched a million-pound childcare scheme for workers at the Westfield shopping centre.

The money will go towards providing childcare for Hammersmith and Fulham residents working at Westfield, who are returning to work or in employment for the first time.

The initiative, known as Childcare Matters, is part of a legal agreement between the developer and the Council. 

Parents will get the first three months of childcare paid from the fund for children up to 14-years-old.

Councillor Antony Lillis, cabinet member for community and children’s services, said: “White City has one of the highest rates of unemployment in London but Westfield has brought job opportunities to the area, with 1,000 or more of the borough’s residents currently working at the centre.

“If we want that to continue, then we need to encourage residents by giving them the initial help they might need and juggling a job and looking after children can be an incredibly difficult balancing act."

Critics say it is “absurd” that only 1,000 of the 7,000 jobs created by Westfield have gone to local people, and many of the new stores relocated staff from their other branches.

The Council say they are working with recruitment agencies, retailers at the shopping centre and organisations such as Jobcentre Plus to identify people who could be eligible for funding from Childcare Matters.

The project is expected to last a minimum of five years, and the scheme could be extended in future to help unemployed parents across the whole of the borough who are studying on vocational courses which may lead to employment at Westfield.

If you are a parent and think Childcare Matters could help you, then please contact Hemma Leckraz, Childcare Places Coordinator, at or telephone 020 8753 3536.

December 4, 2008