DCATCH Consultation

Closed 5 Dec 2018

Opened 7 Nov 2018

Overview

Nottinghamshire County Council is considering a set of proposals relating to the ‘Disabled Children’s Access to Child Care’ (DCATCH) Home Based Packages (HBP) service these are:

  • Immediate closure of the service, financial support from the Council for DCATCH (HBP) being withdrawn from 1st April 2019.
  • Increased parent/carer contributions to be more reflective of the national living wage, from 1st April 2019.
  • Closure of the service from 1st April 2021, with an increase to parent/carer contributions to be more reflective of the national living wage from 1st April 2020.

Prior to April 2018 the national living wage was set at £7.50 per hour, since DCATCH (HBP) is an individual service rather than a group based service, proposals for increasing parent/carer contributions would see the contribution rise from £3.50 per hour, to £7.50 per hour.

Where, upon increasing the parent/carer contribution, those receiving Direct Payments would see financial support cease, as the overheads associated with providing this support would exceed the amount of support provided.

We would like to know what you think about the proposed options, surrounding issues, and your priorities for the funding of our local services, so that Councillors can make an informed decision about funding DCATCH (HBP).

The survey should take no longer than ten minutes, all responses are anonymous and all survey submissions will be treated as confidential.

The results will be used to guide the decision making process and will be published on our consultation hub, if you provide a contact email when filling out the survey, this will be used to feedback the results of the survey and how these were used.

Why We Are Consulting

Like most other local authorities, Nottinghamshire County Council is facing unprecedented financial pressures. Whilst it has made significant savings over several years there is still a budget gap of £54 million. In order to address the budget gap and continue to provide essential services to the greatest number of families, children and young people possible, it is necessary to review non-statutory services such as DCATCH (HBP).

DCATCH (HBP) was originally part of a pilot programme resulting from a central government initiative, which saw ten local authorities receive additional funding to reduce the barriers for participation in mainstream childcare for working parents of disabled children and young people. This pilot was not extended to authorities across the country and the Department for Education ended it in March 2011. However, Nottinghamshire County Council continued to fund the DCATCH (HBP) service out of the discretionary budget. Additionally, some of the issues around participation that DCATCH sought to address are enforced through Equalities Act (2010), which places greater emphasis upon providers to make their services more accessible to people with protected characteristics, with disability being one of those characteristics.

It should also be noted that there are alternative sources of financial support with child care for working parents such as the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children and young people aged under 16, Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for young people aged 16-18, the disability element to child tax credit and help with child care costs for recipients of working tax credit.

The proposals being consulted upon differ in the amount of savings which could be achieved, but there is a potential to realise up to £265,000 savings to reduce the current funding gap and ease pressure on services reaching greater numbers of families, children and young people.