Children's minister won't rule out extending free childcare in Jersey

ITV Channel's Emma Volney reports...

Jersey's Children's Minister has revealed to ITV News that she will not rule out extending free childcare provision in the island.

It comes after the UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced plans to fund 30 hours a week for children aged nine months and over in England.

Currently, Jersey's government pays 30 hours for three and four-year-olds.

Meanwhile Guernsey funds the same age group, but only for 15 hours a week.

Some parents are unable to return to work due to high costs of childcare in the Channel Islands.

Parent Charlotte Shenkin said: "I imagined myself to be the sort of person who would go back to work and actually there's not an incentive to go back to work at all.

"Right now I cannot go back to work even if I desperately want to, because I can't afford it."

Sam Dustow, another parent in Jersey, said: "You take time out of work, or you work a four day week and you're earning less and you rely on family members and before you know it that leads to stress and mental health illnesses and all of these things make life much more difficult for the public."

WATCH: Deputy Inna Gardiner explains her plans for the future of childcare in Jersey.

Today Jersey's government hosted nursery bosses in a meeting to discuss the sector.

Following the meeting, Deputy Inna Gardiner said she believes it is really important that Jersey brings in affordable childcare.

She added: "we need to make sure we have good quality staff and we need to invest in our staff so we have enough nursery places.

"As demand and demographics are changing we need to work together as an island."

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