Katie Chapman: England player says FA can still improve childcare

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
Katie Chapman
Chapman claimed she was dropped from the England team for wanting time off to look after her family

Katie Chapman says the Football Association could still improve childcare support and admits to mixed feelings after being called up by England for the 2015 Women's World Cup.

The Chelsea midfielder, 32, said it was "unreal" to be selected by boss Mark Sampson after claiming her central contract was cancelled in 2010 when she asked for time off to be with her family.

But she cannot afford to take her three children to Canada and said not being around them during the tournament, which runs from 6 June to 5 July, will be "really tough".

The United States squad contains several mothers and their national association pays for one nanny to attend each women's national team camp, including travel and accommodation.

It is understood no such benefits are available to England players.

"Mark has been more open and relaxed with my family but in terms of childcare there could be more support," said Chapman. "It's not easy with three children."

Chapman, who has 85 caps, became the only mother in the England squad in 2003 and was excluded from the team in 2010 when Hope Powell was in charge.

Since then maternity pay has been incorporated into players' central contracts, which are worth £20,000 a year. Players are also paid up to about £25,000 a year by their clubs in the Women's Super League.

"It's getting better as we go along and if I can help that cause in the future for females in the game, I will," added Chapman.

The FA said it has "maternity policies in place to support our elite female players and we are currently in the process of reviewing our childcare provisions and benchmarking against other sports".

It added: "Our players are supported financially through central contracts and we take a flexible approach to the terms of those contracts, factoring in various considerations including players' childcare commitments."

England manager Mark Sampson on BBC Radio 5 Live
"It is tough to leave people out. The toughest thing I have had to do in my career is to contact those who missed out, because it has been a real group effort to get to this point. The competition for places has been fierce but we feel we have a strong group who can challenge in Canada. The players are fiercely ambitious and want to go as far as we can. Together we are a strong unit and will be difficult to play against. We are confident but we need to be focussed."

Former England skipper Casey Stoney, who is in England's World Cup party and became a mother to twins last December with her partner Megan Harris, also says it will be hard to leave her children for up to six weeks this summer.

Before being selected, Stoney, 32, said: "I'd suffer a lot because I'd miss the little ones like crazy. It would be a tough psychological battle."

England play their first World Cup game against France on 9 June in Moncton, live on the BBC.

England World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Siobhan Chamberlain (Arsenal), Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Carly Telford (Notts County)

Defenders: Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Laura Bassett (Notts County), Alex Greenwood (Notts County), Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), Casey Stoney (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Fara Williams (Liverpool), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Jade Moore (Birmingham), Karen Carney (Birmingham), Jo Potter (Birmingham), Katie Chapman (Chelsea)

Forwards: Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Eni Aluko (Chelsea), Lianne Sanderson (Arsenal), Jodie Taylor (Portland Thorns), Fran Kirby (Reading), Ellen White (Notts County)

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