Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what contingency arrangements are in place for the care of (a) SEN children and (b) dependent children in the event that their parents are unable to care for them as a result of covid-19. 
[Due for Answer on 21 April.]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families (Vicky Ford): The welfare of all children and young people, including those with special educational needs or disabilities, and their parents or carers is a high priority for the government, especially during this period of uncertainty. We are working closely with colleagues across government to ensure that appropriate arrangements and support are in place for all department sectors – from the early years and childcare, to schools and children’s social care, and for vulnerable groups including children with special educational needs.
We have given local authorities £1.6 billion of additional funding to help address the pressures arising from COVID-19. That includes funding to meet the costs of securing additional placements should that be needed. We are also considering what more can be done to increase the supply of foster care placements.
We have published guidance on ongoing support for vulnerable children and children’s social care: