Ministers re-invent the granny flat

AFTER decades of separation caused by "on your bike" economics, parents, grandparents and children will be able to live side by side under government plans to re-invent the extended family.

Builders could be told they must include granny flats in new estates or risk planning refusal, a Green Paper to be previewed today by Harriet Harman, Secretary of State for Social Security, will say.

The radical plans to place new emphasis on the support grandparents and parents can give to one another have been drawn up by a ministerial sub- committee on women. They will form part of the Government's National Childcare Strategy, to be published around Easter in a Green Paper but outlined by in a debate in Parliament today.

The idea is that when new estates are built, as many will be as planners meet an estimated demand for 4.4 million more homes by 2016, the needs of extended families will be taken into consideration. Local authorities may be able to refuse permission for plans that do not include a suitable mixture of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes as well as granny flats. The move is intended to enable families who so wish to live near one another so grandparents can help with childcare and their children can later support them.

The idea was looked at before but was dropped because of fears of creating all-white ghettoes. Now it is hoped that second- and third-generation immigrants will able to take up the schemes, too.

Also being outlined today in a Commons debate on women's issues will be plans for a network of out-of-school clubs and pre-school facilities.

Under these plans, local authorities will co-ordinate plans from a range of private, voluntary and public organisations, and will then bid for central government funding. From next April there will be pounds 40m for the first tranche of a pounds 300m package to provide a million out-of-school places compared with only 100,000 at present.

The Government will expect to see evidence that the schemes will include education and child development as well as underpinning the Welfare to Work programme.

Ms Harman will today detail the patchiness of existing childcare provision, which can be several times more plentiful in some areas than in others.

The Department for Education and Employment is working with the Department of Health to draw up an inspection programme to ensure high quality in all the new childcare provision, which will include a network of centres of excellence for the under-fives. Both departments have been working closely with the Department of Social Security.

Last night Ms Harman said the new childcare strategy would prove the Government was making rapid progress on its manifesto commitments.

"There has long been a demand for childcare which has been ignored by government except for a broken promise from Margaret Thatcher on nursery education," she said. "We said we would have a National Childcare Strategy and we are now delivering it."

voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn