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.
Enfield housing scheme saves almost £1m
A scheme set up by Enfield Council to reduce how much is spent on accommodation for vulnerable families has reportedly saved almost £1 million.
The Council set up the independent company ‘Housing Gateway’ to purchase family homes in area to provide nightly accommodation.
It was set up in March 2014 to reduce the large costs of housing families in temporary accommodation.
Under the scheme families are placed in Housing Gateway properties, given an assured short-hold tenancy and then supported to find alternative accommodation.
Since its inception the company has purchased 180 properties and saved a reported £968,585 in nightly accommodation costs.
Cllr Ahmet Oykener, Enfield Council's cabinet member for housing and housing regeneration, said: "Housing Gateway has helped the council reduce temporary accommodation budget pressures, secure good quality local properties for local families and drive up the standards of accommodation in Enfield by ensuring the properties it lets are well managed and of a good standard.
"The reality is that in recent years the demand for housing in Enfield has sky rocketed and simultaneously we have found other London boroughs placing families in temporary accommodation in Enfield because it is cheaper than in their own borough.
"That meant we had to do something radical and we have – in creating Housing Gateway.
"This project has been a huge success in significantly reducing our costs in this area and enabling us to spend our budgets on the vital services our residents depend upon. This is a practical, effective and intelligent response to serious budget pressures and I am delighted we have been able to find an effective solution to an incredibly taxing problem."