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Children: Day Care

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL2000, tabled on 21 July 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many parents claimed (1) tax free childcare payments, (2) the universal 15 hours free childcare offer for three and four year olds, and (3) the extended childcare offer for three and four year olds, for the last three years.

Answered on

4 August 2022

Tax-Free Childcare is for working parents of children aged 0-11, or 0-16 for disabled children, and has the same income criteria as 30 hours free childcare. In the 2021/22 financial year the government spent £411.3 million on Tax-Free Childcare.

The numbers of families and children who have used Tax-Free Childcare between 2020 and 2022 are as follows:

  • 2019-20: 315,040 families used this entitlement for 396,365 children.
  • 2020-21: 374,135 families used this entitlement for 461,705 children
  • 2021-22: 512,410 families used this entitlement for 646,940 children

The universal 15 hours free early education entitlement is available to all three and four-year-olds regardless of parental circumstances. The government spent £2,212,241,262 on the universal entitlement in financial year 2021/22.

The numbers of children registered for the universal 15-hour entitlement between 2020 and 2022 are captured annually, as follows:

  • 2020: 621,351 three-year-olds and 650,193 four-year-olds
  • 2021: 574,845 three-year-olds and 637,146 four-year-olds
  • 2022: 582,295 three-year-olds and 629,939 four-year-olds

The extended 15 hours entitlement, also known as 30 hours free childcare, is available for eligible working parents of three and four year olds, on top of the universal 15 hours free early education entitlement. The government spent £837,497,401 on the extended 15 hour entitlement in the 2021/22 financial year.

The numbers of children registered for the 30 hours free childcare between 2020 and 2022 are as follows:

  • 2020: 248,399 three-year-olds and 97,305 four-year-olds
  • 2021: 234,996 three-year-olds and 93,666 four-year-olds
  • 2022: 249,388 three-year-olds and 98,738 four-year-olds

The department does not collect data on parents who apply for the entitlements, only children who have registered.