Childcare Act 2006
How to use this guide
In England, the Childcare Act 2006 is intended to help implement the aims set out in Choice for Parents, the Best Start for Children: A Ten Year Strategy for Childcare. It was published on 2 December 2004 and set out the government's plans for the future of childcare. In Wales, it is intended to help implement Childcare is for Children, published on 29 November 2005.
The act imposes a range of general obligations on English local authorities in relation to childcare for younger children in particular. The obligations are designed to ensure that local authorities take an active strategic role in managing the provision of childcare within their areas with a view to ensuring that local childcare provision supports the Every Child Matters agenda. There are three new local authority duties of particular importance:
- To improve the five Every Child Matters outcomes for all pre-school children and reduce inequalities in these outcomes.
- To secure sufficient childcare for working parents.
- To provide a better parental information service.
A similar but less wide-ranging set of obligations is imposed on Welsh local authorities.
The act also effects a wholesale reform of the system of regulation and inspection of childcare in England.
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