Post-budget childcare: what is the employer’s role?

Free live webinar 27th April @11am

As Jeremy Hunt put it in his Spring Budget announcement, “for many women, a career break becomes a career end”. Childcare was recognised as part of the infrastructure for new developments in December 2022. Now in Spring 2023, it has been recognised as a major key to workforce participation and economic growth.

Employers were already addressing childcare as part of cost of living support and as a core talent retention strategy. What is the role of employers in light of the new funding arrangements? The full 30 hours provision from the age of 9 months will not be in place until September 2025, will only cover 38 weeks a year, and places may be in short supply. However, the Budget focus has created a huge appetite for working parents to access this much-needed career support for themselves and early years education for their children.

Join this lively conversation, as we discuss:

  • What will the new funded childcare places mean in practice for employers and employees?
  • Given the timeline, and also the potential squeeze on nursery places in the future, what can employers do now and next to ensure their people have access to the best provision?
  • What else should employers be doing to ensure working parents can succeed and progress at work while also being who they want to be in family life.

Join our Expert Panel of Speakers

James Marsh

Hosted by: James Marsh

James is an organisational learning and development specialist and has worked as an HR manager, consultant, in-house recruiter and trainer with expertise in both management strategy and HR policies and processes. A former editor of HRreview, James then spent seven years at specialist retailer Planet Organic as the architect of their learning strategy and apprenticeship programmes before moving to Guardian News Media in June 2022. He has continued to work closely with HRreview as a podcast presenter and the regular chairperson of their award winning webinar series, InsideHR.
Jennifer Liston-Smith, Head of Thought Leadership, Bright Horizons

Guest Expert: Jennifer Liston-Smith, Head of Thought Leadership, Bright Horizons

For over 20 years, Jennifer has been relentless in pursuit of innovation, identifying, defining and sharing best practice and ‘next practice’ for leading global employers in flexible working, family-friendly and wellbeing programmes, closing the gender pay gap and promoting gender-inclusive parenting. She is a sought-after speaker, writer, conference moderator and consultant on these topics and more.

Jennifer set-up, and for a decade led, the Coaching & Consultancy side of what became Bright Horizons Work+Family Solutions advising employers in banking, professional services, STEM and wider sectors on programmes for working parents and carers and evaluating their impact and ROI, as well as developing coaches and coaching capability.

She now focuses on identifying overarching trends through research and through advising employers and translating these insights into solutions and practical actions.

Amanda Weekes, University of Surrey Procurement Contracts Manager

Guest Expert: Amanda Weekes, University of Surrey, Procurement Contract Manager

University of Surrey – University of the Year by the Good University Guide 2023; University of Surrey ranked 9th place in the UK for student satisfaction in National Student Survey 2022

I have been working at the University of Surrey for 5 years, previously to this 15 years in the Recruitment Industry within the UK and Australia. I currently manage and maintain the contractual relationships between the University of Surrey and front facing suppliers. Responsible for ensuring suppliers deliver on their contractual obligations, performance targets and continual improvement and innovation, in particular where these services impact student and staff experience. I have been managing the Workplace Nursery contract on behalf of The University of Surrey for 5 years. I am very proud of the successful partnership between The University of Surrey and

Bright Horizons, it is testament to the hard work, collaboration, expertise and dedication from both organisations.

Victoria Cottee, Bright Horizons, Head of Client Relations Services

Guest Expert: Victoria Cottee, Bright Horizons, Head of Client Relations Services

With 15 years experience in the work/life industry, Tory has seen first-hand the impact family-friendly cultures and practical support can have on organisations across multiple sectors in the UK. Tory leads the Bright Horizons Client Relations team, which supports the contracts for over 400 organisations in the UK and Ireland, covering more than 1.5 million people.

Sarah leads the Early Education & Childcare Coalition at the Women’s Budget Group

Guest Expert: Sarah Ronan, Early Education & Childcare Coalition Lead, WBG

Sarah leads the Early Education & Childcare Coalition at the Women’s Budget Group. The coalition is a group of 30 organisations representing the interests of parents, providers, children, the early years workforce & the business community. It campaigns for investment in the childcare sector & analyses government policy. Prior to joining WBG, Sarah led Pregnant Then Screwed’s pandemic response, managing their award-winning campaigns on childcare, flexible working & maternity discrimination. She has advised a range of organisations from trade unions to the private sector on campaigns, and writes regularly about employment rights. Sarah also sits on the board of Parental Pay Equality, the campaign for equal parental leave for the self-employed.



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