Fears of a childcare crisis in Burntwood are unfounded, according to Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for children.
Cllr Sue Woodward, Labour representative for the town, had warned of problems as parents began to flag up a lack of pre-school options.
She said that increasing pressure could mean “the number of places will simply not meet demand”.
“On the one hand we have Government and the county council trumpeting their support for families and childcare providers and yet there is a huge gap between their rhetoric and the reality facing families,” she added.
But Cllr Mike Lawrence, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for children, insisted the situation was not as it had been made out.
“Happily, the situation is not how Cllr Woodward claims it to be,” he said. “While it has probably fluctuated since, at the most recent assessment made a few months ago, there was a 63 per cent vacancy rate for childcare places in central Burntwood.
“The county council does not provide child care, but works with schools, nurseries and childminders to make sure there is enough supply in an area to meet demand.
“At the moment, for example, we are supporting a collaboration among childcare providers in the Highfields area.
“Although the ‘30 hours’ offer is not due to begin for another 18 months, we have already carried out preliminary assessments and believe parents will continue to be well served in the Burntwood area. However if that position changes we will intervene.”