Brown pledges extension of free childcare

Gordon Brown extends free childcare to 250,000 children. Plus other news.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told the Labour Party conference that the Government will extend free childcare to 250,000 of two year olds.
The families of two year olds will be means tested to qualify for 10 hours of free childcare a week. This will be paid for by phasing out the childcare vouchers scheme. This currently works by parents paying part of their salary to childminders or nurseries so that they don’t have to pay tax on it. It can save parents up to £962 a year or more if they are on the top rate of tax.
Anne Longfield OBE, Chief Executive of 4Children said: "Extending the free childcare entitlement to 250,000 two year olds is a welcome move towards the type of universal approach that is needed by hard working families. All the evidence shows that early intervention has real benefits in a child’s development. This support is sure to be popular with all parents who struggle daily to balance work and other  commitments with bringing up young children."
More rights for dads ‘could boost flexible working’
Introducing more rights to paternity leave should boost flexible working, says the Chartered Management Institute.
CMI chief executive Ruth Spellman commented: "Such [flexible working] practices have a significant impact on employee motivation, engagement, productivity and overall performance.
"They also help individuals to balance the pressures of both their work and personal lives."

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Mumpreneurs thrive in recession
Mums who set up their own businesses feel more in control of their lives and many had seen their profits increase during the recession, a poll by Mums in Control has found.
The survey showed more than half of those questioned felt more secure since starting up their own business and two fifths had seen their profits increase during the recession.
Mums in Control says 65% of business mums are driven by the need for greater flexibility and 86% feel that British business is not committed to flexible working.

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Key thinkings on work life balance gather thoughts
The thoughts of key thinkers, politicians and policy makers on the changing world of work and of family life and structures will be published on 30th September to mark the 30th anniversary of Working Families 
Contributors to the collection include: Alain de Botton, Dame Joan Bakewell, Voice of Older People, Kay Carberry, Assistant General Secretary, TUC, Professor Cary L. Cooper CBE, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Relations and Distinguished Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, Lancaster University, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Pat Kane, Journalist and Commentator, Penelope Leach, Rt Hon Theresa May MP and Caroline Waters, Director of People and Policy, BT Group.
The collection is published to coincide with the Working Families conference on The Future of Work which takes place in London on 30th September.

More information needed on remote working rights
A “significant proportion” of UK professionals are still unaware that they could be able to work from home, according to research by the Government Equalities Office.
It found that 82% of those polled were not aware of guildines on remote working, including the right to request flexible hours.

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BT flexible working option rejected
Workers at BT’s Openreach company have rejected a plan to introduce more flexible working into their contracts.
The company has had to bring in outside contractors to cover existing work as a result.

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