The Big Picture: Playing host

Sunflower Nursery in Cambridge played host to the Deputy Prime Minister.

Nick Clegg joined Cambridge MP Julian Huppert to listen to views expressed by staff at the 42-place nursery concerning the government’s policy for increased free childcare provision.

The MPs met 18 children at the setting, and joined some of them in activities including making playdough shapes.

Karen Houghton, manager of Sunflower Nursery, and Nigel Howlett, chief executive of the CHS group, showed Mr Clegg and Mr Huppert around the indoor and outdoor spaces at the nursery. They later met for a discussion in the young parents’ support centre next door about the importance of financial support for early years care.

Ms Houghton said, ‘The additional funding announced by the government goes some way to supporting families who would otherwise struggle to afford the cost of childcare, but there is still some way to go before families on the lowest incomes can afford to send their children to nursery full time whilst they go to work. This is a point we made clear to the Deputy Prime Minister on his visit, and is one that we hope can be addressed in the future.’

Sunflower Nursery opened in 1991 and provides 15 bursary-funded places primarily for qualifying CHS tenants.

CHS runs two not-for-profit nurseries in Cambridge and Cambourne, which provide a joint total of 122 places.

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