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Children: Day Care

Question for Department for Education

UIN 909697, tabled on 11 March 2019

What recent progress his Department has made on helping families to access childcare.

Answered on

11 March 2019

By 2020 this government will be spending £6 billion on supporting families with childcare. All 3 and 4 year olds, and the most disadvantaged 2 year olds, can access 15 hours a week of early education. From September 2017, this government doubled the childcare entitlement for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds to 30 hours a week.

We recognise that parents’ working patterns vary significantly and want to ensure that the free entitlements deliver childcare to meet their needs, as well as being high quality early education to support the development needs of children. We are also encouraging partnerships between providers to support flexible provision.

In particular, we want 30 hours to continue to build on the flexible provision that we were already seeing across the country with the universal 15 hours. All the free entitlements can be “stretched” by taking fewer hours per week over up to 52 weeks of the year to cover term-time and the school holidays, for example 23 hours for 48 weeks of the year, and free places can be delivered at weekends.

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