Prime Minister launches National Childcare Week
The Children’s Mutual sponsors the Daycare Trust Art and Writing competition kicking off National Childcare Week
The Prime Minister Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP will today launch Daycare Trust’s 11th annual National Childcare Week at an event at No10 Downing Street.
The theme of National Childcare Week is “Building brighter futures”. National Childcare Week will run from 2-9 June 2008. The week is designed to promote the importance of investing in childcare, out-of-school activities and early years provision for children to strengthen and contribute to children’s play and learning. Events will be taking place in childcare settings all over the country.
The Prime Minister will be speaking at an awards ceremony for the winners of this year’s art and writing competition for children to celebrate National Childcare Week and the National Year of Reading. He will be joined by the Secretary of State for Children Schools and Families Rt Hon Ed Balls MP and Children’s Minister Rt Hon Beverly Hughes MP.
The competition is for children ages 2 to 14, and is split into two categories. The first competition asks children ages 2 to 10 to choose their favourite book and design a new cover for it. The second competition invites children ages 5 to 14 to write a short story about what the future holds for all of us. Each competition will be divided into three age categories. Winners will each receive a prize for themselves and their childcare setting/school.
This year’s competition is sponsored by The Children’s Mutual, the only UK company specialising in long-term savings and investments for families with children.
Speaking ahead of the launch the Prime Minister said:
“High standard childcare and early learning give children the very best start in life, as well as helping parents balance the demands of work and family life. National Childcare Week is a great way to mark the importance of childcare and I extend my best wishes to all those parents, childcare professionals and young people up and down the country who are taking part in events to mark it.”
Alison Garnham, Joint Chief Executive of Daycare Trust said:
“When Gordon Brown first became Prime Minister last June we dubbed him the ‘Children’s Champion’, so we are delighted that he is personally launching National Childcare Week. It clearly demonstrates his Government’s commitment to supporting parents and children.
“Quality, affordable childcare is vital for children, helping them grow and develop, and of course it enables both mums and dads to work, study and train. In the long term, providing the right childcare will even help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and help create a better, happier society.
“We hope this week people will see that childcare needs, and deserves, long-term public investment.”
“We want to make sure that high quality, flexible and affordable childcare is available, wherever families are in the country, to give children the best start in life, to help families out of poverty and to enable them to balance their work and family lives more easily.
“Whilst the number of places continues to increase, we know that some parents find it difficult to get the childcare they need. That is why we have earmarked £1.3 billion over the next three years to support schools in providing access to childcare and activities before and after school, as part of their extended services offer. We also spend over £3.5m a day on tax credits to families to help with the cost of childcare and have committed an additional £600m a year to extend the free entitlement for three and four year olds to 5 hours a week, and £33 million for pilot programmes to test ways to provide better childcare for disabled children.”