'Scandal' over children's care

MPs are calling for an investigation into children's homes which, they say, are failing to manage and protect youngsters who run away or go missing. Ann Coffey MP, chairwoman of the parliamentary inquiry, branded the situation a "scandal".

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Children’s Minister: Parents want 'affordable' and good quality childcare

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather MP. Credit: Daybreak/ITV

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather MP told Daybreak that the Government's new commission will take into account the two childcare issues that parents are most concerned about - affordability and cost:

"They want to make sure it's affordable but they also want to know that if they leave their child in a nursery or with a childminder they're going to be safe and they're going to learn and develop."

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MP: Runaway childrens' details should be kept in database

Labour MP Paul Goggins has urged the Further Education Minister John Hayes to discuss with the Home Office the importance of keeping the details of all trafficked children who go missing on the Police National Database.

He said this was important so "they are not forgotten and so that if, for example, they turn up in a cannabis factory, they can be treated immediately as victims rather than criminals".

'Rochdale sex grooming case underlines importance of care'

The Earl of Listowel, vice chairman of the All-party Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, has said that today's reports underlines how variable standards of care across the country are:

The inquiry recognises that there are examples of excellent children's homes and that for some children this is sometimes the most appropriate option. But the great variability of standards and the generally very low level of qualifications of staff need urgent remedy. As the recent Rochdale case has clearly demonstrated, it is essential that no stone is left unturned when it comes to the care and protection of some of this country's most vulnerable children.

– Earl of Listowel

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Labour: 'Report shows disturbing reality for children in care'

Today's report highlights a number of very disturbing realities for many children in the care system. It is a timely contribution...

In addition, there needs to be a Government-led review of the care system to get to grips with the issues addressed in this report and I hope that reports of such a review reflect Government planning and actions.

– Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg

Some vulnerable children 'failed by the system'

There is no doubt that the system is currently failing some very vulnerable children. In its inspections of children's homes, Ofsted regards the issue of missing children as one of the main indicators of the quality of care. The inquiry rightly highlights the barriers which prevent us sharing information about the location of children's homes with local police forces. The regulations in force specifically prohibit us from sharing that information with anybody except local councils. We agree that this is something that the Government needs to consider changing.

– Education Watchdog, OFSTED

'Serious weaknesses' in children's care

This report goes right to the heart of some serious weaknesses in the current system, which leave far too many of the most vulnerable children in society exposed to harm and danger. It is completely unacceptable that existing rules are simply being ignored and that, frankly, some local authorities and children's homes are letting down children by failing to act as a proper 'parent'. We are looking in detail at all the issues raised and will set out urgent next steps in the coming weeks.

– Tim Loughton MP, Children's Minister
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