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Thousands of parents to benefit from 30 hours free childcare

CHILDCARE: £13 million will be given to councils across the country to deliver 30 hours of free childcare

WORKING PARENTS of three and four-year-olds will be benefit from double the amount of free childcare - a year ahead of schedule.

Childcare minister Sam Gyimah has today (Feb 2) announced a total of £13 million, which will allow councils across the country to deliver 30 hours of free childcare for hard working parents of toddlers.

As a result, some working parents in Wigan, Staffordshire, Swindon, Portsmouth, Northumberland, York, Newham and Hertfordshire will 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.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan said: "For too long, rising childcare costs have been a barrier preventing parents and particularly mothers from working. That’s why I’m delighted that in just a few months’ time, we will see the first families benefiting from the government’s offer of 30 hours’ free childcare for working parents.

"We have made a commitment to help working people, and through this extended offer we will help thousands more parents who want to return to work to do so."

The government will also be looking at the issues that make it difficult for parents with particular challenges to access childcare, including special educational needs and disability.

The core group of councils will be supported by 25 others, who will look specifically at innovative ways of making sure childcare is accessible to as many parents as possible.

Their experiences will then be used to support the full rollout in 2017, with the aim of removing significant barriers to parents taking up their entitlement.

All three and four-year-olds are already entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week, and this is also extended to the most disadvantaged two-year-olds.

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