Report finds inequalities in childcare provision for black and minority ethnic families

Black and minority ethnic families face barriers to using childcare including cost, lack of flexibility and access to information, a report warns today.

The study, from the Daycare Trust, the National Childcare Charity and the National Centre for Social Research, was presented to the government this afternoon.

It shows that while there is evidence of greater childcare use across all ethnic backgrounds following greater investment from the government, use of childcare can vary depending on ethnic background.

Black families are most likely to use formal childcare, and Asian families are the least likely to use any childcare at all. By contrast, white families are most likely to use informal care.

The report, Ensuring Equality: Black and Minority Ethnic Families’ Views on Childcare, outlines a number of areas for policy makers and childcare providers to consider to meet the needs of black and minority ethnic families.

These include providing flexible provision for families that work unusual hours, ensuring that staff represent and understand different cultures, and ensuring that information is readily available and accessible.

Alison Garnham, joint-chief executive of Daycare Trust, said: “The growth in use of childcare is very promising, but this report reveals that black and minority ethnic families are less likely to be accessing good quality early years’ services.

“Research has shown that black and minority ethnic families are more likely to be experiencing disadvantage and good quality early years’ provision can support them in overcoming that disadvantage. The government needs to act now to ensure equality of access for all families.”

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