Free Childcare Entitlement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:48 pm on 6th September 2017.

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Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Minister of State (Education) 12:48 pm, 6th September 2017

I did read the hon. Lady’s report and some of the press coverage. She is absolutely right that the attainment gap needs to be closed between those from a disadvantaged background and those from other families. We are making progress in closing that gap, which is being closed at a faster rate in London than elsewhere. The 30 hours of childcare is for working families. However, many families cannot get into work because they cannot get childcare, so we will be pulling families out of poverty who currently cannot work because of the extortionate cost of childcare compared to their income. Of course, we still have the offering of 15 hours for the most disadvantaged two-year-olds and the early years pupil premium, which is specifically aimed at helping families most at need—the most disadvantaged families—because we need to close the attainment gap.