Sir Nicholas Soames MP has welcomed new figures showing that 4,747 children are benefiting from the Government’s 30 hours free childcare offer across West Sussex.
The offer saves working families around £5,000 per year per child and saw over 200,000 children benefit nationally in its first term. There are now nearly 300, 000 children in 30 hours places in England. It’s backed by a record investment of £6 billion per year in childcare, which includes an extra £1 billion per year by 2020 to deliver the free entitlements.
High quality childcare not only helps children get the best start in life, but also supports many parents who want or need to work. Beneficiaries of the scheme have reported improved family finances as well as a better work-life balance.
Alongside introducing and increasing the National Living Wage, and raising the personal allowance, childcare support is one of a number of ways this Government is helping families with the cost of living.
Commenting, Sir Nicholas said; “For many parents, being able to afford good-quality childcare is essential to working and supporting their families. It’s not just an issue, but the issue, and I know from speaking with families across Mid Sussex and West Sussex what a difference 30 free hours is making. Reliable childcare gives parents peace of mind and makes day to day life that bit easier.
“We want to help people with the cost of living. That’s why this Government is spending more money on childcare than ever before, helping parents to balance their home and working lives whilst ensuring more children get the best possible start in life.”
- The Government's 30 hours free childcare offer for working parents launched nationally on 1 September 2017. This doubled the former 15 hour entitlement introduced in 2010. It saves families of 3 and 4 year olds roughly £5,000 per year per child and nearly 400, 000 families across the country are eligible (DfE, 8 May 2015, link; DfE, 31 August 2017, link).
- Independent evaluation has demonstrated the benefits of 30 hours free childcare. Independent evaluation of pilot sites found that access to 30 hours of free childcare improved family finances, supported a better work-life balance and enabled parents to extend their working hours, should they wish to do so (DfE, 31 August 2017, link).
- There are now nearly 300, 000 children in 30 hours places in England. Data published by the Department for Education today shows that 294, 000 children are in a 30 hours place (DfE, 15 March 2018, link).
- By 2020, the Government will be spending about £6 billion to help parents with the cost of childcare. Further to the 30 hours offer, the Government funds 15 hours of free childcare for disadvantaged 2 year olds and supports parents through Tax Free Childcare, which provides up to £2,000 per child per year to help towards childcare costs (Gov, accessed 14 March 2018, link).
- The introduction of the National Living Wage delivered the fastest pay rise for lower earners in 20 years. In April this year, the Government will increase it again, leaving a full time worker on the National Living Wage over £2,000 a year better off since its introduction (Hansard, 30 January 2018, link).
- Increases to the personal allowance mean that this April, 31 million people will see their income tax bill cut by over £1,000 since 2010. 4 million of the lowest paid will be taken out of paying income tax altogether (Hansard, 27 November 2017, Col. 127, link; Hansard, 24 October 2017, link).