Chancellor Visits Busy Bees in Hammersmith

George Osborne discusses proposed childcare scheme with parents and staff

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The Chancellor meets four year-old Titas

Busy Bees Hammersmith 

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne paid a visit to Busy Bees nursery this week, where parents and staff were able to share their views on the Government’s plans to introduce a new "tax-free" childcare scheme from autumn 2015.

This £1 billion scheme, according to their plans released earlier this year, is the Government’s latest attempt to make quality childcare more affordable for 2.5 million working families in the UK.

As part of the consultation launch, The Chancellor said he wanted to meet working parents and discuss how the proposed changes to the Childcare Voucher scheme would be phased in by 2015.

Busy Bees say it was a relaxed and open arena where parents took the opportunity to discuss their own family circumstances and the problems they face trying to balance work and family life as well as cope with the cost of quality childcare.

Establishing very quickly that parents were unwilling to compromise on the level of quality childcare, the main focus of the conversation was how the Government could offer more financial support to more families in the UK.

Shirley Ballin, Nursery Manager at the nursery, in Bute Gardens in Hammersmith says: " We were really pleased that the Chancellor wanted to come to our nursery and that our parents were able to share their experiences and concerns with him.

" Parents present who were part of a two-parent working family were able to appreciate the benefits and welcomed the changes. However, some were concerned about what would happen if one or other were to lose their jobs, as the new scheme is only for those families with two working parents."

Mother of three, Kirsty Todd, was also concerned that the new scheme (which is only viable for children under 5) lacks the flexibility of the current childcare voucher scheme, which is viable for children under 16. Kirsty chooses to save the majority of her childcare vouchers to help towards holiday childcare for her two school age children.

" The Chancellor seemed genuinely interested in the points raised and we hope that our contribution will be taken into account," says Shirley.

After a tour or the nursery and some quality ‘creative time’ with the children, the Chancellor thanked parents and staff for their time and congratulated Busy Bees staff on the exceptional level of care they deliver, and made a promise to consider all of the points that were raised throughout the day.

Busy Bees has 213 nurseries across the country, making it our largest childcare provider. For more information on childcare affordability issues or childcare vouchers, parents can contact its helpline on 0330 333 9191 or visit its website.

You can contact the Hammersmith nursery on 0208 741 9445 or go here.

The Government is currently consulting parents about the proposed tax free childcare scheme. To take part in the consultation, complete the online questionnaire

August 9, 2013