2 Feb, 2016

Thousands of parents benefit from 30 hours’ free childcare early

Department for Education | Sam Gyimah MP | The Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP | 2 February 2016

Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah has today (2 February 2016) announced £13 million, which will allow councils across the country to deliver 30 hours of free childcare for hard working parents of 3- and 4-year-olds – a year ahead of schedule.

As a result, some working parents in Wigan, Staffordshire, Swindon, Portsmouth, Northumberland, York, Newham and Hertfordshire will now benefit from the early offer from this September.

The extra hours of childcare will make it easier for these parents to work and is another move designed to meet the government’s commitment to make work pay.

The Department for Education ran an open competition to test how the 30 hours would work, and has chosen 8 councils to offer this from September 2016.

Early innovators in each local cluster will work together to focus on special educational needs and disability, flexibility, availability of places, and making work pay.

They include the northern powerhouse and rural areas where it can be difficult to organise childcare.

The 25 early innovators are:

  • North West: Stockport, Bolton, Trafford, Cheshire West and Chester, Bury
  • Midlands: Nottinghamshire, Nottingham City, Walsall
  • South West: Cornwall
  • South East: Hampshire, West Sussex, Medway, East Sussex, Brighton and Hove
  • London and East of England: Kingston and Richmond, Barking and Dagenham, Islington, Ealing, Hillingdon
  • North East and Yorkshire and the Humber: Gateshead, Bradford, Sheffield, Eastriding, Wakefield, North Yorkshire

The additional 15 hours of free childcare is available for families where both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone-parent family), and each parent earns the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum or living wage, and earns less than £100,000 a year.

The government will be testing out the new eligibility checking system, bringing all of our childcare offers together online.

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