Technical issues plague free childcare scheme

family law

Parents have been struggling to take advantage of the forthcoming free childcare scheme because the programme’s website does not work properly.

Starting in September, the government is set to give working parents access to 30 hours of free childcare per week for their three and four year-old children. The scheme was one of the pledges made in the Conservative Party’s 2015 General Election manifesto.

However, many parents have been unable to open an account because the online registration system has been plagued with technical problems. Many providers of childcare have had a similar struggle accessing the system. As a result, they are unable to confirm places for the children mere weeks before the programme is set to launch.

Treasury Select Committee Chair Nicky Morgan called these problems “concerning”. The Tory MP for Loughborough said she had written to officials at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs seeking more information about these issues “such as the duration of outages, the number of complaints, and the number of people who have been unable to access their childcare service account”.

This is not the first time the childcare scheme has come under fire. An organisation representing nurseries called it “price fixing” and the owner of three of such establishments in York called it “economic suicide”.

Additionally, a recent survey of nurseries suggested as many as 50,000 eligible children could miss out due to underfunding.

Photo of Nicky Morgan MP courtesy of Policy Exchange via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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