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Govt calls on childcare providers to prepare for reforms

26/08/2015 Joanna
Education secretary Nicky Morgan has called on councils and childcare providers to be the first to deliver 30 hours of free childcare in September 2016.

Ms Morgan has asked them to devise innovative and flexible ideas for implementing the offer, as well as asking parents up and down the country how the extra hours will help them.

The scheme is being rolled out a year earlier than originally planned to ensure families benefit from support with childcare as soon as possible.

"We're calling on providers to tell us how they can offer innovative, high-quality childcare that helps parents return to work while keeping more of their hard-earned money in their back pocket," the education secretary said.

New figures released by the government show that more than 80 per cent of working parents would take up the extended offer of free childcare for three and four-year-olds if it were available now.

The Department for Education (DfE) has teamed up with Facebook to solicit views from employers and mothers and fathers on how plans to double the number of free hours for three and four-year-olds will take pressure off household budgets and enable parents to work.

Over 2,000 parents have already contributed to the discussion, with more than three quarters saying they would take up the offer of 30 hours' free childcare.

This government spends £5 billion on childcare - more than any previous administration and an increase of £1 billion since 2010.

A number of other policies have also been introduced to support parents, including shared parental leave and pay, which allows them to decide who will be their child's primary carer or share the responsibility between them.

Posted by Charlotte MichaelsADNFCR-2164-ID-801798770-ADNFCR
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