Children’s Education Recovery and Childcare Costs

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:44 pm on 7th June 2022.

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Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education 6:44 pm, 7th June 2022

I may not agree on that particular point, but where I do agree with the hon. Lady is that the take-up of tax-free childcare is far too low. I am looking very closely at that and at what more we can do as a Government to promote it. I would certainly encourage all Members from across the House to promote our childcare offer more generally, of which tax-free childcare is only one part.

More broadly on the point about childcare, I will say this: I have two young children, and I get it. They have both been through nurseries and childminders, and I understand the costs. I know that many parents up and down our country are paying as much, if not more, than their rent or their mortgage on childcare costs. We are very much committed to ensuring that all families get the support they need when they need it.

We are already supporting families and investing to support the cost of childcare. We are offering free childcare to every three and four-year-old—that is the 15 and then the 30-hour offer. We are providing free childcare to disadvantaged two-year-olds—that is the 15-hour offer. We are cutting the cost of childcare for working parents through our tax-free childcare offer, which I have just mentioned to the hon. Lady, and of course paying up to 85% of the childcare costs for those on universal credit, supporting the families who need it most. In total, that comes at a cost of £5.1 billion.