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 delivery remaining high despite growing pressures
A new report has found authorities across England have performed competently in delivering adult and children’s social care, despite growing pressures and increasing cuts to resources.
The Localis report, On the Ropes: social care provision under austerity, shows that most users of adult social care nationally remain satisfied with their care and support despite funding cuts, with some authorities even managing to increase satisfaction among users.
However, in addition to adult social care pressures, complex and interlinked problems associated with rough sleeping and the ‘hidden homeless’, mental health, child poverty and the increase in numbers of looked after children threaten to overburden authorities unless greater fiscal headroom is granted in the next Spending Review period.
Joe Fyans, Localis head of data research, said: “Local government in England has not been knocked down, but it is on the ropes. A central and unreported element of the now workaday crisis we sometimes takes for granted is the incredible aptitude which local authorities have shown under continued pressure.
“The scale of the cutbacks and impact on local services has been well-rehearsed and brought to national attention with instances such as Northamptonshire County Council’s well-reported demise. But were it not for the fiscal straitjacket which has had a distorting effect on local authorities capacity and ability to deliver outcomes, quality of life and wellbeing may well otherwise have increased – particularly for the elderly and vulnerable across the country.
“Without greater financial autonomy and headroom in the future, our local leaders and communities will be left with nothing more than limited choices on where to deliver and prioritise bare ‘core offer’ services.”