2 Jun, 2015

How will extra free childcare for working families work?

BBC News | Education & Family | 1 June 2015

As concerns are raised about how the government will fulfil its pledge to boost free childcare for working families to 30 hours a week, the BBC News website asks key questions about how the scheme may work.

What free childcare do parents get now?

Currently, all three- and four-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours free childcare a week.

This is funded by the nursery education grant from local authorities of about £3.80 per chid, per hour.

If the child attends a state-maintained nursery or a local authority funded children’s centre, it is unlikely that the parent will be asked to contribute anything further.

But those with children in private nurseries, and even in pre-schools run by voluntary organisations, will know the government entitlement is rarely truly free at the point of use.

Some of the poorest two-year-olds are also entitled to 15 hours free childcare under a separate scheme.