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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

30 hours of free child care per week for working parents in UK 09-02

30 hours of free child care per week for working parents in UK 

    Parents set to benefit from 30 hours of free childcare, with rollout to start from 2016 – a year earlier than planned.

    Childcare funding rates to increase, with review promised before summer.
    New government taskforce will introduce changes as soon as possible.

Prime Minister David Cameron will today announce that the government will bring forward plans to double free childcare for working parents - with some families set to benefit as early as next year.

The Childcare Bill, introduced tomorrow (Tuesday), will double free childcare available for all working parents of 3 and 4 year olds to 30 hours a week – available to up to 600,000 families and worth around £5,000 a year – including the £2,500 they can already save from existing free childcare offers.

And, in a move to underline the government’s commitment to support working families with the costs of childcare, plans are being drawn up to introduce the changes for some families a year earlier than planned, with pilots in some areas offering 30 hours worth of free places from September 2016.

On top of this, the government is also today committing to increase the average childcare funding rates paid to providers (the hourly funding provided for each free place) with the Department for Education set to begin a review before summer, overseen by Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah.

A new government taskforce, headed by Minister of State for Employment Priti Patel, will also work to drive forward the plans and ensure not a moment is wasted in passing the benefits onto working families.

Prime Minister David Cameron:

    My message is clear. This government is on the side of working people – helping them get on and supporting them at every stage of life.

    That is exactly why we are pressing ahead with these reforms - so that not a moment is lost in getting on with the task - going further than ever before to help with childcare costs, helping hardworking families and giving people the opportunity to get into work.

Minister for Employment, Priti Patel said:

    We are doing more than any other government to improve the affordability and accessibility of childcare for working families.

    Having the right childcare in place will mean more parents can have genuine choice, security and peace of mind when it comes to being able to support their family.

Today’s announcement will mean there is now more support than ever before to help with the costs of childcare and will build on the steps already taken by this government to help families across the country.

More than a million families are already benefiting from 15 hours week of free childcare for three and four-year olds, alongside around 160,000 of the most disadvantaged two year olds. The government has also already legislated to introduce tax free childcare – worth up to £2,000 per child per year – within this Parliament.

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