David Cameron announces plans to double free childcare for working parents, with some families set to benefit as early as next year.
- 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.
The Childcare Bill, introduced 2 June 2015 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 committing to increase the average childcare funding rates paid to providers (the hourly funding provided for each free place): the Department for Education is 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.