Currently payments for childcare are made to the parent(s), the level of which is determined after considering the income and dependents.

However, if it is decided that the level should be set at £400 p/m for example, it is up to the parent to use that payment for childcare as required, and whether or not the whole amount is required for childcare the whole amount is paid out. The problem with this is that some people aren't able to claim larger amounts and have to find the shortfall themselves, whilst unnessasary cash is paid to some and not used for the sole purpose. It also allows people to take their children out of care on certain days to save the money for other uses which ofcourse costs the childcare provider as they don't get paid as expected and money is not going to where it should.

It seems to me and many others that it would make more sense for childcare payments to be made directly to the provider, be that nursery fees or childminder, and would allow the provider to be certain of payments on time and only money used for childcare given could be claimed by the provider, which should also save a lot of money being paid out where not needed or used properly, which is obviously important in the current climate of cutbacks and government savings.

Why is this idea important?

With the current government being forced to make cutbacks and savings where ever possible, this should pull back a lot of money that is not needed, which could be put back into helping payments to families who are forced to find the shortfall themselves and could also give a lot more stability to childcare providers with regards to more regular payments, and since payments would be made directly to the provider the child will be less likely to miss days as it wouldn't be in the parents interest to take the child out of care to save money given, which could allow for a much more stable and regular eniviroment for the child which can only go on to help development.

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