Take childcare opportunity, says Norwich MP

Chloe Smith cuts the ribbon to reopen the refurbished Once Upon a Time nursery school on Constitutio

Chloe Smith cuts the ribbon to reopen the refurbished Once Upon a Time nursery school on Constitution Hill in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

Extra funding for free childcare is a huge opportunity for Norwich which must be grasped, MP Chloe Smith has said as she held a summit to address a shortage of places.

Councils, colleges and business groups gathered yesterday to discuss how supply could be increased with a new laws to double free childcare from 15 to 30 hours a week for three and four year olds.

Anna Terrington, operations manager at the Once Upon a Time nursery, on Wroxham Road, said it currently had a 12-month waiting list.

'A lot of mums with babies in tums are putting their names down because with word of mouth they are being told to get in quickly,' she added.

She warned that people needed to be planning ahead if they wanted to increase the amount of hours of childcare they received ahead of the new rules in 2017.

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The Childcare Bill Committee, which includes Norwich North MP Ms Smith, stared work this week scrutinising the legislation.

She said: 'I'm leading local action too so that we have the necessary plans in place for Norwich, which already has high demand and short supply.

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'This is a major opportunity for parents and for Norwich, and we have to grasp it.'

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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