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.
Councils invited to apply for digital funding
Local Government Minister Luke Hall has announced that councils looking to improve public services through innovative uses of digital technology can apply for funding.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government says that grants, worth up to £350,000, will be invested in projects from the government’s Local Digital Fund. Projects bidding for investment must be shared by councils working together to explore how digital technology can improve public services for residents in innovative ways.
Last year, 16 projects were awarded grants of up to £100,000, with 57 councils working in teams to shape new digital services and explore the potential of modern technology. Projects included exploring how virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa can improve the lives of people in need of care, improving online tools for reporting social home repairs, and using data analytics and artificial intelligence to produce education plans for children with special needs.
Hall said: “Digital technology is transforming our lives. From smart tech at home to apps on our phones, it’s helping us to stay connected and making things easier. Councils are on the front line of exploring how we can harness technology to improve services while saving taxpayers’ money. Today we’re opening up the next round of applications for the Local Digital Fund. I would encourage all councils with innovative ideas that focus on residents’ needs to apply.”