Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Chancellor leads consultation on ten-year strategy for childcare [January 2005]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 5 January 2005.

In visits to the Gabalfa Primary School in Cardiff and the Pinehurst & Penhill Sure Start Centre in Swindon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown today met parents, children and childcare providers as part of the Government’s consultation on its 10-year strategy for childcare.

Visiting the Gabalfa Primary School with Wales First Minister Rhodri Morgan, the Chancellor also discussed the launch of the Child Trust Fund with parents. This month will see the first Child Trust Fund vouchers sent to parents and a consultation on extra payments at age seven into every child’s account.

Speaking at the Pinehurst & Penhill Sure Start Centre Gordon Brown said:

“Nowhere is the scale of our ambition for a Britain of aspiration and achievement – and for a Government on people’s side – more evident than in the demand for real choices for parents in childcare and children’s services and in moving from the old era of centralisation to parents locally making the decisions.

“Fifty years ago Government help for the youngest consisted of little more than maternity services, child vaccination and then school attendance at five, failing to acknowledge what we all now know: that a young child’s life chances are shaped more by the care, support and early education they receive in the years before five than at any other time.

“Nobody better understands the problems faced by working parents than parents themselves. So we are the first government to launch a nationwide consultation to engage parents in planning the next stage of childcare and children’s services – providing parents not just with choice in provision but a voice in the design of that provision.

“The new frontier for children’s services is about insisting that no child is left out and there is no cap on their potential or limit to their ambitions.  I want the Child Trust Fund to ensure that at 18 every child will have some wealth from which to plan their adult future, demonstrating our determination that in tomorrow’s Britain every young person, free from poverty, has the best chance to make the most of their talents.”