Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Social care cuts considered in Lancashire
Lancashire County Council is reported to be planning a £5.5 million cut to adult social care services, despite receiving additional funds from council tax payers.
Lancashire was among a group of authorities that added a two per cent precept ring-fenced for the sector, raising £8 million by doing so. However, the authority has said that the decision, following the government precept addition in 2016, has not raised enough money and is planning £45 million in further cuts.
The council has warned that ‘a combination of inflationary pressures and rising demand’ has left it facing a funding gap of £167 million in 2021/22.
Therefore, despite announcing plans to reopen libraries and spend an extra £4 million into road repairs and the bus network, the regions’ children's social services face a cut of £3.5 million, if proposals are approved at a cabinet on 14 September.
Geoff Driver, leader of the council, said: "The county council's financial situation is clearly extremely challenging and one of our key priorities is to create a more financially stable council that will enable us to future-proof our improvements to critical services for the most vulnerable in our communities.
"This detailed line-by-line review of all service budgets has identified significant savings and is a very helpful first step to putting the council's finances on an even keel. Clearly we will need to make more savings in the future and we are working very hard to look at how we can do that in a way that allows us to protect front-line services. Every council in the country has to make decisions about how it uses its resources and we are absolutely committed to funding those services that we know people value, by reopening libraries, investing in good quality roads and local environments, and supporting bus services."