Westminster Council has banned childminders’ children from attending ‘Stay and Play’ drop-in sessions at Children’s Centres. Following cuts to the Council’s Play service earlier this year, the Council has now written to parents to say:
“As places at Stay and Play sessions are limited we do need to prioritise children living in Westminster attending with parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles and can no longer admit childcare professionals during these sessions”
This follows Westminster Conservatives decision to cut £1,339,000 from Children’s Centres, Play and Youth Services over the three years from 2014/15 – 2017/18.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg said;
“Westminster Council is one of the richest Councils in the country and there is no excuse for banning children being looked after by childminders from attending Play and Stay sessions. Many working parents depend on child minders and the Council has no right to ban their children from attending Play sessions. Also, many child minders look after their own children at the same as looking after the children of working parents. This ban on childminders attending Play sessions is both unfair and discriminates against working parents.”
“This latest Council decision shows how the Government’s mean-minded and unnecessary austerity programme is damaging working parents and their children. The Council should stop making children and working parents the targets for its cuts programme. ”