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.
Changes in non-residential care charges
A review of charging for non-residential care services has been approved by Lancashire County Council’s cabinet.
An eight-week consultation which gives people the opportunity to share their views about the changes will be announced shortly. Once completed, the results will be considered before the new way of charging is introduced in April 2018.
These charges were last reviewed in 2011.
Non-residential care services support people with disabilities and elderly people to live as independently as possible in their community. The services include: home care, outreach services, day care, direct payment and personal budget services, supported living, and the Shared Lives Scheme.
The proposed charging policy calculates how much people may need to pay towards their non-residential care based on a comprehensive financial assessment.
In line with the current policy and legislation, people will only be charged for non-residential care according to their assessed ability to pay. Currently over 51 per cent of people receiving non-residential adult care services are either assessed as not having to pay, are funded by the NHS or are exempt under the Mental Health Act.
Revising the charing policy for all non-residential care services will help to ensure the county council can cover the costs of providing them in the future by generating an extra £2.9 million per year.
Graham Gooch, cabinet member for adult and community services, said: “The rates we currently charge people are based on 2011 figures and since that time costs have risen by over 14 per cent. Given the county council's current financial position this situation can't continue.
"Under these proposals, as with our current policy, people would only be charged according to their ability to pay for their non-residential care.
"Inevitably some people would have to pay more, but most people would not see a significant increase in care costs.
"Of the 5,694 people paying for non-residential care services, 92 per cent would see an increase in care charges of less than £20 per week. For more than 4,000 people, this increase would be less than £10 a week.
"It's crucial that the system is fair and as part of the ongoing financial assessment process, we already include a free check to ensure people are claiming all the benefits they are entitled to. This will continue under the revised scheme.
"The proposed charging policy is consistent with those introduced by other councils across the country and is in line with the guidelines set out by central government in The Care Act 2014.
“We need to change the way we charge for these services, so that we can continue to provide them in the future.”