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Plans to extend free childcare are brought forward

04 Jun 2015

The Government has brought forward its plans to double free childcare for working parents, with the scheme due to begin rolling out to parts of the country in September 2016, a year earlier than originally planned.

Under the new Childcare Bill, eligible families where both parents or a lone parent are in work will benefit from up to 30 hours of free childcare for 3 and 4 years olds during term-time.

The average funding rates paid to childcare providers are also set to increase, with a review planned to begin by the summer.

The changes are expected to benefit up to 600,000 families, resulting in total childcare cost savings for parents of around £5,000 a year.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has welcomed the news. John Longworth, BCC Director General, commented, ‘Expanded access to childcare is a win-win for employers and parents alike, enabling more talented individuals, should they wish, to stay in work. However, in funding this, we hope the Government move towards a cost effective method of supporting working parents through a fiscally neutral Childcare Contribution Scheme instead of previous commitments to raid pensions savings’.